Explosion at Russian railway station kills 2, injures 20

Associated Press

A bomb ripped through a railway station insouthern Russia on Wednesday night, killing two people and wounding some 20 others, news reports said.

The blast occurred around 7 p.m. (1500 GMT) near the ticketoffice at the railway station in the city of Armavir, a mainrailway junction in the northern Caucasus Mountains 1,200kilometers (750 miles) south of Moscow.

Of those wounded, two were hospitalized in serious condition,the ITAR-Tass news agency reported, quoting Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Vorontsov, head of the local branch of Russia's Federal Security Service.

He said the explosive device of an unidentified type wasprobably hidden in a bag which belonged to a man, instantly killed by the blast. Another victim, a woman, died later of wounds.

A passenger train coming from the Russia resort of Sochi on the Black Sea to the town of Kavkazskkaya in the Krasnodar region was close to the station when the explosion occurred, the ITAR-Tass said.

Officials in Moscow weren't immediately available for commentlate Wednesday.

The blast occurred just a few days after Chechen warlord Salman Raduyev threatened to carry out a series of attacks throughout Russia in retaliation for death of Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev, killed by the Russian military last April.

Armavir is in Krasnodar region, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of the border with Chechnya.

Russia's 20-month war in Chechnya ended last year, but tensions have continued as Russians and Chechens wrangle over the southern republic's status. Chechnya considers itself independent, but Moscow claims it a part of Russia.

The Chechen government also has had little success in reining in numerous armed groups and has been unable to stop a wave of kidnappings and other crimes.

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