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Russian Mosque Blast Was Meant to Target Funeral – Investigators

© Kabardino-Balkaria Interior MinistrySoldiers and police forces at the site of the blast
Soldiers and police forces at the site of the blast - Sputnik International
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Two people believed to have been killed when a bomb they were carrying went off early Friday in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria were planning to target a funeral procession, Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said.

MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti) – Two people believed to have been killed when a bomb they were carrying went off early Friday in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria were planning to target a funeral procession, Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said.

The explosion occurred at 3.20 a.m. one meter from the entrance to a cemetery outside a mosque in the village of Dugulubgei in the republic’s north, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement. Fragments of the bodies of two unidentified people, believed to have been blown up by their own bomb, were found at the scene. No one else was injured in the incident.

Regional investigators said the results of a preliminary investigation showed that the blast occurred when the bomb detonated itself. The explosion left a crater three meters (10 feet) wide and one meter (3.2 feet) deep.

“The attackers planned to detonate their homemade bomb on the route of a funeral procession,” NAK said in a statement, pointing out that the blast occurred as Muslims around the world celebrated the religious holiday Eid al-Adha, known in Russia by its Turkish name Kurban Bayram, this week.

“Hiding behind religious and ideological slogans, the criminals intended to sow the seeds of death among a significant number of people, including civilians,” the statement said.

The blast shattered the windows of the mosque and destroyed its roof, as well as damaging nearby buildings, NAK said. The bomb contained around 10 kg of TNT, police said, as well as shrapnel that could have severely injured people within a 300-meter radius, NAK said.

Investigators also found a large number of arms at the scene, including shells, grenades, two pistols and a Kalashnikov rifle that went missing after an attack on police in the republic’s north in July 2008, police said.

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