Blast Kills Chechen Leader, Russian Gen...
May 9, 5:10 AM (ET)
By SERGEI VENYAVSKY
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) - The Kremlin-backed president of Russia's warring Chechnya region and a top Russian general were killed Sunday when an explosion tore through a stadium in the Chechen capital where they were attending World War II observances, the republic's Interior Ministry said.
President Akhmad Kadyrov died about 30 minutes after the blast, likely caused by a land mine planted under the stadium's VIP seats, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Col.-Gen. Valery Baranov, a top regional commander died at the scene, the official said.
In all, at least 10 people were killed and up to 100 injured, the official said.
The blast underlined the intense security problems even as the Kremlin says normalcy is being restored after nearly five years of fighting against separatist rebels.
Russian soldiers are reported killed in near-daily small attacks by rebels and by rebel-set explosions.
Grozny, the war-ruined Chechen capital, has a huge presence of Russian forces, but they have not been able to purge insurgents from the city.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but suspicion inevitably fell on the rebels.
"Justice will take the upper hand and retribution is inevitable," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the conclusion of Moscow's Victory Day parade on Red Square, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
Russia's NTV television broadcast footage of the stadium's VIP section collapsing into a jagged hole of torn wooden planks, sending up a plume of brown smoke. Panicked people dressed in their Sunday best clambered over the seating bleachers. One man was shown carrying a bloodied child, while men in uniform dragged a man covered in blood away from the broken seating area. Shots rang out into the air.
Thanks for the update !
Chechen President Killed in Victory Day Blast htFox News
Sunday, May 09, 2004
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov (search) died of his injuries after an explosion during Victory Day celebrations in Grozny, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Sunday.
The blast, which killed at least four and injured dozens, was caused by a land mine apparently planted under the VIP section in the Dynamo stadium.
Several suspects have been taken into custody, Fox News has learned.
Confusion clouded the aftermath of Sunday's attack in the Chechen capital, with reports on the fate of Kadyrov and the number of casualties varying widely.
Col. Gen. Valery Baranov (search), commander of Russian troops in the region, died at the scene, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Kadyrov died about 30 minutes after the blast.
The explosion happened underneath a VIP-seating area during a Victory Day (search) ceremony celebrating the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.
Akhmad Dzherikhanov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations southern Russian division, said four people were killed and 46 wounded.