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Chechens blamed for blast near Kremlin

Moscow, Dec. 10 (Reuters): A top Moscow prosecutor blamed Chechen rebels today for a suicide bombing that killed six people near the Kremlin, saying it was the work of the same group that masterminded bombings across Russia this year.

Foreign minister Igor Ivanov accused the attackers of also having links to international militant groups, something Moscow hopes will win it more sympathy in the west. He said Russia needed to intensify its “war on terrorism”.

But two groups of Chechen rebels distanced themselves from the attack, which Russian officials suspect may have been meant to target the nearby State Duma lower house of parliament following an election on Sunday.

Yesterday’s attack was the second suicide bombing in Russia in five days and the second deadly bomb attack in Moscow this year.

The first Moscow bombing killed 15 people at an outdoor concert in July

More than 200 people have died in suicide bombings throughout the country this year, many claimed by Chechen rebel groups.

“All these explosions were organised by one group and coordinated from one centre,” Moscow chief prosecutor Grigory Shinakov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

The Federal Security Bureau, the successor of the KGB, said there were similarities with recent bombings in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida network.

“According to our assessment, these incidents have a common root, logic and financial base,” FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko said.

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