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World - Europe

Blast rips through Moscow shopping mall; 25 injured

August 31, 1999
Web posted at: 1:15 p.m. EDT (1715 GMT)

MOSCOW (CNN) -- A powerful explosion rocked an underground shopping mall just steps away from the Kremlin on Tuesday evening, injuring at least 25 people, authorities said.

The Russian Interior Ministry confirmed ten serious and 15 other injuries in the blast.

There were no confirmed deaths.

The cause of the blast was not known, but authorities said the explosion occurred on the third level of the Manezh Square shopping center in a room of video game machines.

Unconfirmed reports indicated the explosion originated in one of the games.

Russian news reports said police and fire officials evacuated the complex just outside the Kremlin's northwest wall after the 8:00 p.m. (1600 GMT) explosion.

The elite shopping center, home to a number of exclusive shops and restaurants, opened in 1997 to coincide with the celebration of Moscow's 850th anniversary.

Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty and Reuters contributed to this report.



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