Four people hurt in car bombing near Nazran mosque in Russia’s Caucasus

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A powerful blast that took place outside a mosque in Nazran, the capital of Russia’s republic of Ingushetia in the Caucasus, has injured at least four people and damaged several cars. The bomb may have been targeting the mosque’s imam.

Four people hurt in car bombing near Nazran mosque in Russia’s Caucasus

A powerful blast that took place outside a mosque in Nazran, the capital of Russia’s republic of Ingushetia in the Caucasus, has injured at least four people and damaged several cars. The bomb may have been targeting the mosque’s imam.

The car explosion near the Nasyr-Kortovskaya mosque in Nazran injured four people, a spokesman for the Ingushetia department of the Russian Investigation Committee told TASS on Friday.

“Four people,aged 19, 23, 42 and 55, were hurt in the explosion. They received injuries of various degrees of severity,” the official said, adding that all of them were taken to hospital.

The 55-year-old man with a serious head wound was operated on and is currently in the intensive care unit. The three others were soon discharged.

The blast, which was the equivalent to 5kg of TNT, was caused by an explosive device in a car parked nearby and may have targeted the imam of the mosque, various sources told TASS throughout the day.

The car, parked on the busy street, was completely destroyed. About five other cars, as well as nearby buildings, were damaged. The blast occurred in the afternoon, but Friday prayers were already over and most people had already left the mosque.

“Investigators seized fragments of the explosive device and fragments of the car,” the spokesman said.

Ingushetia's head, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, described the attack as a provocation.

“It was a pure provocation and those who committed it were seeking to take advantage of the continuing problems in the religious sphere,” Yevkurov said in a statement.

In August 2009, 20 people died and at least 136 were wounded when a powerful bomb blast rocked Nazran, the largest city in Ingushetia, a republic in Russia’s North Caucasus. A terrorist drove a Gazelle light commercial vehicle, filled with an estimated 400kg of TNT, into the courtyard of the building housing the republic’s police headquarters. It was the deadliest blast in Ingushetia since 2004, and happened as officers were lining up in the courtyard for their morning inspection. The blast triggered a fire that raged for hours after ammunition and weapons stored at the building exploded.