Russia thwarts twin attacks in Caucasus city: official
Russian security forces Thursday deactivated two potentially devastating bombs, one mysteriously attached to a dead body, in a city on the fringes of the troubled Northern Caucasus region.
One bomb was attached to the body in a car parked near a cafe in the southern city of Stavropol, a regional centre to the north of the Caucasus mountains that have been dogged by a deadly Islamist insurgency, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC) said.
Police later found another bomb nearby, disguised to look like a pile of garbage. Both bombs were deactivated, "preventing a major act of terror," the committee said.
The police "found about 60 kilogrammes of explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate, aluminium powder, batteries, wire, and car alarm components" in the car, the NAC said in a statement.
The body in the car, with marks of beating, belonged to 43-year-old Gennady Tolboyev, a local taxi driver, Russian news agencies said. There was no immediate explanation over why the bomb had been attached to a corpse.
Another device, made of a gas canister filled with explosives and pieces of metal, was found about 40 metres (yards) away. The explosives in the second bomb had a 30-kilogramme TNT equivalent, the NAC statement said.
Residents of two apartment buildings and pupils at a school were evacuated from the scene, which is in a residential area close to the centre.
The Stavropol region borders the restive Northern Caucasus and the city was hit by a bomb attack outside a cultural centre that killed seven and wounded dozens in May.
The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the Northern Caucasus since after the collapse of the Soviet Union, waging a war in 1994-1996 against separatist rebels in Chechnya.
However, after a second war broke out in Chechnya in 1999, the rebellion's inspiration moved towards Islam with the aim of imposing an Islamic state in the region.
Although the war ended in 2000, rebels have waged an increasingly deadly insurgency with unrest spreading into other areas of the Northern Caucasus.
© 2010 AFP