Terrorist Attack Kills 11, Injures Dozens
Photo by Reuters
VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia - RIA Novosti reports that as many as 11 people were killed and 43 were injured on Thursday in an explosion at a bus stop in the center of the capital of Russia's North Caucasus republic of North Ossetia. The chief doctor at the hospital treating the wounded said most of the casualties were students aged 17 or 18.
Police reports put the death toll at 11, while the republic's Health Ministry said 10 people died. A police source said the blast was probably caused by an explosive device set off outside a public minibus as passengers got off. The North Ossetian president's press service said a suicide bomber could have detonated the device, which was equivalent to 300-500 grams (0.7-1.1 lbs) of TNT and stuffed with shrapnel to increase the killing power.
"Seven people died immediately, some died on the way to hospital, and some passed away in hospital," the police source said. November 8 has been declared a day of mourning in North Ossetia for those killed in the explosion.
The United States condemned the explosion in Vladikavkaz as "a heinous act of terrorism" and expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and the government of Russia. "There can be no justification for such terrorism," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement.
Southern Caucuses are Russia's Middle East. Terrorism has been there for hundreds of years, and, unfortunately, seems to never go away. The war in Chechnya is over, the region is stable, but the violence is still part of the local culture. No matter what the disagreements between Russia and America are, there is certainly one area where both countries are vulnerable and must grow their mutual cooperation. Russia's and America's perpetual search for the enemy within each other is stunning when the real enemy is so evident and ruthless.