Blast in Vladikavkaz designed to promote enmity – Putin

Following the deadly blast in Russian city of Vladikavkaz, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the Chairman of the Muftis' Council of Russia to express his solidarity and condolences to the Muslim community.

Crimes like the one that was committed today in Vladikavkaz are aimed at promoting enmity between people,” Putin said. “We cannot allow that. And of course, Muslims must play the decisive role in this struggle.”

Putin noted that the attack happened on an important Muslim holiday – Uraza-bayram (Eid al-Fitr) – which concludes the holy month of Ramadan.

I know how many Muslim clerics have suffered at terrorists’ hands for openly stating they were against terrorism and extremism,” Putin said.

He spoke of the importance of the Muslim community to Russia and called on Russia’s Muslims to unite in the struggle against terrorism.

We count on the Muslim population of Russia to make a critical contribution to this struggle,” Putin said. “I know what Muslims think of such extremists. We are aware of their support, particularly in the North Caucasus region, and are grateful for it.”

Islamic leaders in Russia have criticized the attack, claiming it was deliberately timed to cause maximum insult to Muslims.

“This act of terror is an attempt to scare the people and is aimed at the denigration of islam as a religion. Muslims around the world and in Russia have been waiting for the end of Ramadan and these people, who carried out this attack wanted to overshadow people’s feelinga ahead of this holly celebration. And they have succeeded in doing this in North Osetia as it’s now in morning and these people must pay for what they’ve done,” Mufti of North Ossetia, Hadzhimurad Gatcalov said.