Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Blames 'International Terrorists' for Chechnya Attack

In Chechnya, workers carted off wreckage Sunday from a building that was destroyed by suicide bombers, in an attack Russian officials are blaming on international terrorists. At least 52 people were killed in Friday's attack, and more than 100 were injured.

The Russian Foreign Ministry blamed "international terrorists" for the suicide bomb attack that virtually destroyed the main building of the Chechen administration.

Two vehicles packed with explosives rammed into the compound in the Chechen capital Grozny on Friday.

On Sunday, Russian television showed workers carting off large sections of the building's concrete walls. Officials fear the death toll may rise, as more bodies are believed to be buried under the rubble.

Russian authorities blamed Chechen rebels, who have been fighting Russian troops for control of Chechnya for more than three years, for the attack. Rebel leaders have denied involvement.

The rebels say they are fighting for independence, but Russian officials say they are funded by international terrorist organizations.

In a statement Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Chechen rebels employed methods "tested and used in other parts of the world."

The attack at the heavily guarded building in the center of Grozny raises questions about security in Chechnya, which Russian forces say they control.

Russian officials are investigating how the two, possibly three, suicide bombers were able to pass through a number of Russian military checkpoints, before arriving at the Chechen administration building.

Officials said the vehicles used in the bombing had Russian military license plates, and the drivers were dressed as Russian soldiers.

Before the bombings, the Chechen administration building was one of the few renovated buildings in Grozny, a city that has been through years of war.