RFE/RL : Truck bomb kills at least 35 in North Ossetia
- [02.08.2003 10:59] RFE/RL
Truck-Bomb Attack Kills At Least 35 In Ossetia
A vehicle packed with explosives blew up a Russian military hospital
in the southern republic of North Ossetia yesterday, killing at least
35 people and wounding another 150.
The explosion took place in Mozdok, the city which is the main
headquarters of Russian armed forces fighting separatists in
Eyewitnesses said the blast was caused by a man who drove a vehicle
packed with explosives into the hospital complex in Mozdok.
In Moscow, Emergencies Ministry official Mikhail Razanov said the
blast ripped apart the hospital: "At 7 p.m. a vehicle exploded near
the military hospital and completely destroyed the building. That
represents approximately 300 square meters."
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Russian
Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal investigation into
Salambek Maigov, envoy for the Chechen President, told Interfax news
agency that Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov had nothing to do with
the blast at the hospital. "I take full responsibility in declaring
that neither Aslan Maskhadov nor the Ichkerian leadership are
involved in this explosion," he said.
Chechnya is preparing for a October 5 election to choose a regional
president -- a key event in Kremlin plans to restore peace.
In Washington, a White House spokesman denounced "this act of