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    Death toll in south Russia 'gas blast' rises to 8

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    The death toll in an explosion that ripped through a building in Nazran, in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, on Tuesday has risen to eight, the local emergencies service said.

    MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll in an explosion that ripped through a building in Nazran, in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, on Tuesday has risen to eight, the local emergencies service said.

    The explosion, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, occurred in a three-story court bailiffs' office building in the center of the republic's largest city at around 10:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT).

    "An eighth body has been retrieved from the rubble," a spokeswoman for the local emergencies service said.

    A total of 22 people have been rescued, with 17 of them still hospitalized, and two of them in critical condition, she added.

    Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov earlier declared three days of mourning for the victims of the blast.

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