More than 20 people were killed Wednesday in a new suicide bomb attack in Russia's rebellious republic of Chechnya, ITAR-TASS quoted an official in the pro-Russian administration as saying.
The attack, apparently carried out by a female suicide bomber during a religious parade, took place in Iliskhan-Yurt in eastern Chechnya, an aide to the Chechen Prime Minister, Alexei Vasin, told ITAR-TASS.
He added there were "dozens of wounded.''
The Chechen Prosecutor-General, Vladimir Kravchenko, told Interfax the explosion took place at around 3:00 pm Moscow time in Iliskhan-Yurt, a village some 45 kilometers east of the capital Grozny.
An aide to the republic's chief administrator, Shamsail Saraliyev, told Interfax that most of the victims were elderly people attending the religious event.
ITAR-TASS quoted Chechen interior ministry sources as saying the attack could have been targeted at the pro-Moscow chief administrator, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was present but escaped unhurt.
"We are still establishing whether there were any other officials among the wounded or dead,'' Saraliyev told Interfax.
The blast came 48 hours after a suicide truck-bomb attack on a government building in northern Chechnya that killed at least 59 people -- one of the deadliest single attacks since the current conflict between separatist rebels and federal troops broke out in October 1999.
(China Daily May 15, 2003)