Suicide bombing in Chechnya kills at least 3: officials


Russian Interior Ministry movable commandoes hold military exercises in the restive southern Russian region of Ingushetia on May 22, 2008. Ingushetia, which neighbors Chechnya, frequently sees clashes between Islamic insurgents and Russian security forces.


Kazbek Basayev

A suicide bombing near Grozny today killed at least three soldiers and injured several people, the Associated Press cited the local investigative committee in Russia's Chechnya region as saying.

Chechnya fought two brutal wars with Russia in the last two decades and still sees flashes of violence under the command of hardline Russian-allied rebel leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

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Russian officials, meanwhile, are trying to stave off the rising Islamic militancy slowly gripping the region.

Today's blast reportedly took place outside a Chechen department store in the capital, said Reuters.

Russia's Interior Ministry branch in Chechnya also issued a statement about the incident but claimed two attackers took part and four Russian officers had died. AP said the reason for the two different official accounts, also noted by Agence-France Press, was not immediately clear.

Reuters cited Interfax as saying the explosion occurred when soldiers got out of an vehicle near their garrison quarters. 

Officials said an investigation is under way.