MOSCOW (AFP) — A suspected suicide blast that ripped apart a minibus in a busy square in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz killed 11 people plus the suspected bomber, officials said.
"As of now, 11 people have died. All have been identified," local government health minister Vladimir Lekoyev told AFP, adding that this figure did not include the suspected bomber.
In addition to the dead, 41 people were injured in the blast in the city of Vladikavkaz in the North Ossetia region of the Russian Caucasus, he said.
An investigator with the prosecutor's office told AFP on condition of anonymity that law-enforcement agencies were trying to identify the severed head of the person suspected of detonating the bomb as people got on and off a minibus on a busy square.
"We are trying to create a photo-fit. All that's left is the head," the official said.
A video camera in the square showed the explosion occurred as a woman was boarding the bus, the official said.
North Ossetia, a mainly Christian region that lies on Russia's southern border with Georgia, was the scene of the devastating 2004 school hostage crisis at Beslan.
Russian soldiers and police continue to be killed on a weekly basis by mainly Muslim insurgents, most notably in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya, the latter the scene of two full-scale wars since the 1991 Soviet collapse.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »