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The BBC's Rob Parsons in Moscow
"Moscow is no stranger to bomb blasts"
 real 56k

Monday, 5 February, 2001, 21:54 GMT
Explosion strikes Moscow metro
Paramedic helps injured woman
Several people were taken to hospital
Nine people have been wounded in an explosion at one of Moscow's busiest underground railway stations, according to reports from the Russian capital.

The explosive device went off at the Belorusskaya metro station at about 1845 Moscow time (1545 GMT), during the evening rush hour.

There are no reports of deaths resulting from the blast.

The Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted figures from Moscow's health committee, which said seven adults and two children had been injured as a result of the explosion.

Policewoman with dog
Police are investigating possible terrorism charges
Itar-Tass said five adults and two children had been hospitalised and are all in a "satisfactory" condition.

One more male adult declined hospital treatment and went home, while a further injured person was being examined by medical staff.

Reports say the bomb, containing explosives equivalent to 200 grams of TNT, was placed under a bench at the station.

Television footage showed chunks of marble strewn on the station floor.

Members of the Federal Security Service sealed off the station after the explosion.

Trains kept running on the Ring Line, which serves Belorusskaya station, but did not stop there.

Traffic on the nearby Garden Ring, one of the city's main boulevards, came to a near standstill.

'Terrorist act'

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who visited the scene of the explosion, described it as "a 100% terrorist act".

The Moscow prosecutor's office said terrorism or other charges were being investigated.

Monday's explosion comes seven months after a blast tore through a central Moscow underpass, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more.

Mr Luzhkov blamed the August 2000 attack on Chechen rebels, but Chechnya's President, Aslan Maskhadov, had denied that rebel forces were involved.

Russian officials later conceded that that attack could have been linked to gang warfare rather than terrorist activity.

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See also:

10 Aug 00 | Europe
The blasts which shook Russia
10 Aug 00 | Media reports
Press draw lessons from Moscow blast
09 Aug 00 | Europe
Muscovites fear more blasts
07 Sep 00 | Europe
Arrests over Moscow blast
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