Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 1 News List

At least 16 dead as bombers hit rock festival in Moscow


A series of suicide-bomber blasts roared out near a giant rock festival in suburban Moscow yesterday afternoon, killing at least 16 victims and two bombers, Russia's interior minister said.

The festival at the Tushino airfield in northwest Moscow was packed with a crowd reported at up to 40,000 spectators when the first blast went off.

One of the blasts tore off people's clothing and sent garbage flying through the air, said spectator Alexander Yefimov.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said that 16 people were killed, not including the bombers, and that suspicions pointed to Chechen rebels. News reports said a passport found at the bombing site identified a Chechen woman.

Moscow police spokesman Pavel Klimovsky said the blasts were set off by two suicide bombers and that both were killed.

There were three blasts in all, but the third apparently was unexploded remnants from one of the earlier explosions, officials said.

The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies both cited unnamed law enforcement sources as saying the first blast took place after guards stopped a woman at the entrance to the festival and she detonated an explosives-packed belt.

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