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Russian Authorities Raid Shack, Seize Explosive Belts

July 26, 2003|From Reuters

MOSCOW — Russian justice officials raided a wooden shack Friday near Moscow and seized explosive belts that they said Chechen guerrillas meant to use for suicide attacks.

"Today we have averted at least five possible terrorist acts," Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

Dozens of police and security officers with anti-bomb equipment converged on the shack at Tolstopaltsevo, a village 17 miles outside Moscow.

Russian prosecutors said police, who used a bomb disposal robot in their search, found and defused five belts.

The seizure followed a bomb attack at a rock festival in Moscow on July 5 in which two women, said to be Chechens, blew themselves up, killing 14 people and themselves. A 15th victim died Thursday.

The interior minister, speaking in Krasnodar in southern Russia, said the belts would be examined to see if there was any link with the rock festival attack.

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