Skip to main content
CNN EditionWorld
The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!

Woman bomber kills 14 in Chechnya

Many of the victims at the religious festival were elderly
Many of the victims at the religious festival were elderly

Story Tools

• Interactive: Russia's forgotten war 

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Explosives strapped to a woman's waist detonated Wednesday, killing 14 people during a crowded religious festival in the Chechen village of Iliskhan-Yurt, according to Russian and Chechen officials.

It is the second suicide bombing in the breakaway republic this week. About 52 people died in an attack on government buildings in the north of the country Monday. (Full Story)

The emergency minister for Chechnya Ruslan Avtaev downgraded Wednesday's death toll from 20 to 14, with 145 people injured, 45 seriously.

Many of those injured were elderly. Half the victims died at the scene, while the other half died later in hospital.

The likely target of the suicide bomb, the leader of the Russian-supported Chechen government Akhmad Kadyrov, escaped uninjured, Chechen government spokesman Shamsail Saraliyev said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Monday's attack on Chechen rebels seeking to disrupt the establishment of a new government after more than three years of war.

"It is evident that terrorist acts like the one this morning have one principal goal, and that is to stop the process of normalization in Chechnya," Putin said.

A March constitutional referendum was meant to cement the breakaway Muslim republic into Russia. The Kremlin and Chechnya's Moscow-appointed administration portrayed the referendum as a key step toward peace and a return to normal life in the region.

Wednesday's blast comes the same day Putin meets U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Russian leader had compared the al Qaeda-blamed attack in Riyadh Tuesday, in which more than 30 Westerners died, with Monday's Chechnya blast. (Moscow talks) (Riyadh blast)

Russian troops invaded Chechnya in 1999 after a string of attacks blamed on Chechen separatists who had fought Moscow to a standstill three years earlier. Guerrilla attacks on Russian forces have persisted since then.

Chechnya's leaders have vowed to crack down on extremists' attacks and bring more security to the region. But Monday's attack is seen as a sign that Muslim rebel groups continue to have a presence in northern Chechnya, which is largely more pro-Russian than southern areas of the territory.

The bombings comes five months after a truck-bomb attack on the headquarters of the Moscow-backed Chechen administration in Grozny killed at least 50 people. (Full Story)

-- CNN Correspondent Ralitsa Vassileva contributed to this report.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.