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Major bomb attack foiled in S. Russia, militant leader killed

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MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service Directorate for the southern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria have foiled a major terrorist attack, the ministry said Saturday.

"Militants planned to stage a terrorist attack in Nalchik during a public rally today in support of Abkhazia [the breakaway region of Georgia]," a ministry official said.

He said the Interior Ministry had received information about the upcoming attack several days before. Police carried out a special operation in the village of Gerpigezh, 15 kilometers from the republic's capital of Nalchik, engaging a group of 10 militants and killing Mukhtar Tolbayev, a leader of Yarmuk, a Wahhabite organization.

He said police had found three explosive devices, each containing five kilograms of TNT.

"The militants had planned to explode these bombs during the rally in Nalchik," he said.

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