MOSCOW — A deadly terror campaign targeting ordinary Muscovites in their sleep spread fear across the capital Monday as rescuers pulled 109 bodies from the ruins of an eight-story building flattened by a predawn bombing.
Police began a campaign to search every basement in Moscow and inspect vehicles entering the city after the second bombing in five days, which demolished an apartment building six miles from the Kremlin. Officials said more people were buried in the rubble and the death toll could rise.
"Terrorism has declared war on us, people of Russia," President Boris N. Yeltsin told the nation in a televised address. "This enemy has no conscience, no mercy, no honor."
Other authorities quickly linked the bombing to the war in Dagestan. Russian troops are fighting rebels who invaded the mountainous republic from neighboring Chechnya in early August to establish an independent Islamic state.
Some analysts warned that Russian antagonism toward Chechens was growing so strong that it could ignite a much wider conflict and revive the Chechen war of the mid-1990s, which killed as many as 80,000 people and left Chechnya a shattered and lawless territory.
In Russia's lower house of parliament, nationalist fever reached such a pitch that the Duma's Geopolitics Committee spent two hours seriously debating whether Russia should drop a nuclear bomb on Chechnya--although that is hardly likely to happen.
"We discussed it as a perfectly workable option," committee Chairman Alexei V. Mitrofanov said later.
"I am sorry to say that the country is on the verge of another civil war which will be far bloodier, more cruel and senseless," said Andrei A. Piontkovsky, director of the Independent Institute for Strategic Studies, a Moscow think tank.
Piontkovsky said authorities have presented no hard evidence connecting the bombings to Chechen terrorists despite many assertions from Russian leaders that people from the Caucasus region are behind the attacks. Chechen officials and rebel leaders Monday denied any role in the Moscow bombings.
Rising Russian nationalism sparked by the bombs could have a profound effect on parliamentary elections set for December as well as the presidential election scheduled for July. Yeltsin, who has said he will not run again, ignored calls Monday for a state of emergency, which would have put the elections on hold and given police vast powers.
Instead, authorities instituted what Moscow Mayor Yuri M. Luzhkov called "a special regime" under which police will control who enters the city of 10 million people and will decide which of the "visitors" living in Moscow may remain.
The wave of terror bombings has killed at least 266 people. It began Aug. 31 with a blast at a shopping mall near the Kremlin that killed one person and injured 40. On Sept. 4, a car bomb at an army base in the Dagestani city of Buynaksk blew up an apartment building inhabited by officers' families, killing 64.
On Wednesday at midnight, the central section of a large apartment block in southeast Moscow collapsed when a bomb went off inside the building, killing at least 92 people. Monday's blast four miles away demolished the yellow brick building that was home to about 140 people.
Throughout the day, firefighters, police officers and other rescuers climbed over the smoking pile of debris, removing bricks by hand and tossing them below. Every two hours, all work ceased for a moment so they could listen for survivors. One man was found alive under the rubble. The dead included at least 10 children.
"It seems like the war in Chechnya and Dagestan has finally reached Moscow," said Tatyana P. Kurilova, who taught math at a school next door to the building destroyed Monday. "Now we will be constantly in fear. We never expected that such an awful thing could happen so close to us."
Natalya Y. Pudkova, a television video editor, said she had lived next to the building for 39 years and was stunned to look out her window after she heard the explosion and see that the structure had been turned into a three-story heap of rubble.
"I think that Chechnya and its people should be separated from the rest of the world with some sort of a sanitary cordon, like rabid dogs," she said. "To achieve their goals, they do not stop at killing sleeping women and children early in the morning. What a savage thing to do."
Authorities said the two Moscow apartment bombings were nearly identical and were carried out by the same group of people, who rented storage rooms in the basements of the buildings, packed them with explosives and then later set them off with timing devices.
Police said one man arranged to rent both spaces using the name Mukhit Laipanov. The real Laipanov died in a traffic accident in southern Russia in February, they said. Police prepared a composite sketch of the suspect and circulated it throughout the city.