Russia terror attack kills six, wounds dozens in North Caucasus
A bomb disguised as a pack of juice exploded Wednesday evening in the southern Russian city of Stavropol, killing at least 7 and wounding more than 40. Investigators have opened a case under terrorism laws.
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The north Caucasus have long simmered with violence, particularly in Chechnya, where separatists sought to break away from Russia. But while Moscow has largely tamed the Chechen separatist movement, the nationalist threat has morphed into one with jihadist overtones.
Some experts worry that a network of Islamist insurgents led by Chechen Doku Umarov, who took responsibility for the suicide bombings that killed 40 people at two Moscow metro stations, may be planning a new wave of assaults, according to the Monitor.
Russian authorities on Thursday vowed to punish those responsible for the most for the Stavropol blasts, reports AFP.
“This is an audacious provocation," regional governor Valery Gayevsky said in comments released by his administration.
"Someone wants to shake loose the friendly relations between the peoples and republics. These forces do not want peace in the Caucasus. But we will put them in their place," he said.
Gayevsky spoke by telephone with President Dmitry Medvedev late at night, telling the Kremlin chief about the situation with the injured and the investigation.
"The head of state expressed condolences to the families of the tragedy's victims," the Stavropol regional administration said in a statement.
Authorities in Stavropol have declared May 28 a day of mourning. “Entertainment programs scheduled for Friday will be dropped from TV and radio schedules and concerts will be postponed across the region. Flags will also fly at half-mast,” reports RIA Novosti. The agency interviewed locals who witnessed the blast: