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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Blast hits Chechen capital
Site of bomb blast
The blast almost completely destroyed the building

A large explosion has ripped through a Russian government building in the Chechen capital Grozny.

The blast, at a Justice Ministry building, has injured at least 36 people.

The attack came a few hours after President Vladimir Putin told a news conference in Moscow that the only way forward in Chechnya was to follow a peace plan laid out by the Kremlin.

There have been three suicide bombings in and near Chechnya in the last month. More than 90 people have been killed.

A truck packed with explosives exploded just metres from the justice ministry building, close to the main Chechen government headquarters.

"According to preliminary information, we believe there were two suicide bombers in the front seats of the truck," Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky said.

In December last year, 82 people were killed when explosive-laden vehicles were rammed into the government buildings in Grozny.

The fighting between Russia and Chechen rebels demanding independence has cost thousands of lives since the latest conflict began in 1999.




SEE ALSO:
Unending Chechen nightmare
12 May 03  |  Europe
Q&A: The Chechen conflict
29 Oct 02  |  Europe
Hope lives on in Chechen ruins
15 Apr 03  |  Europe


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