35 killed in Russian suicide attack
- 35 killed in Russian suicide attack
NAZRAN, Aug 1: A vehicle packed with explosives blew up outside a
hospital in a Russian region bordering Chechnya on Friday, killing at
least 35 people and destroying the building.
President Vladimir Putin ordered Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov to
fly to the scene of the attack at Russia's army base of Mozdok, in
the region of North Ossetia bordering Chechnya.
"At least 35 people have been killed, the building is burning, and it
is impossible to approach it. All four storeys have collapsed," a
spokesman for Russia's emergencies ministry said. -Reuters
'No more survivors' in Russia blast
Soldiers serving in Chechnya received treatment at the hospital
Rescuers have called off the search for survivors of a suicide truck
bombing attack on a military hospital in southern Russia.
On Sunday, the body of a surgical nurse was pulled out from beneath
the rubble - the 50th person known to have died in the blast which
also injured 72 others.
Officials have blamed separatist Chechen rebels for the attack which
occurred in the military town of Mozdok, in North Ossetia.
The officer in charge of the hospital has been detained on suspicion
of criminal negligence.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov who went to Mozdok on the
orders of President Vladimir Putin, said that despite recent
instructions, no measures had been taken to block access to the
hospital by unauthorised vehicles.
The suicide bomber was able to drive a truck packed with ammonium
nitrate explosive to the hospital's front doors and detonate it.
In pictures: Hospital blast
"There is no longer a chance of finding anyone alive. We may pull out
some parts of bodies," a rescue worker told the French news agency
AFP on Sunday.
Mr Putin - who refuses to deal with the Chechen rebels - has sent a
letter of condolence to the victims' families.
"The terrorists will not be able to dictate their criminal ways upon
us. Their bloody crimes will not end the political peace process," he
said in a statement.
A spokesman for the moderate rebel Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov has
said the Chechen leadership was not involved in the attack, but that
he could not speak for other groups.
Friday's bomb was the bloodiest since May, when a truck bomb attack
in Chechnya killed 60 people.
Last month, 15 people were killed at a rock concert in Moscow when
two female bombers blew themselves up.
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Moscow says this latest attack is
another blow to the Kremlin, which claims to have the situation in
Chechnya under control.
The separatists have rejected Moscow's plans for presidential
elections in October and have vowed to resist Russian forces there.
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