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Moscow Bomb Blast Leaves 7 Dead, 33 WoundedAired August 8, 2000 - 12:08 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: We told you earlier about a bomb blast in Moscow. Right now Steve Harrigan joins us on the telephone with the latest -- excuse me in live with the latest.
Steve, fill us in.
STEVE HARRIGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jeanne, those numbers keep going up, as far as the number of wounded go. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry now saying 33 Russians were killed in that blast, that occurred just about -- 33 Russians were wounded excuse me in that blast, which occurred just two hours ago in central Moscow; seven Russians killed.
That blast, of course, occurred in an underground passageway really at rush hour time. People crowded in there, crossing from one side of the busy street to the other, also riding the subway, the Russian Metro.
The center of Moscow, this blast occurred in, a short walking distance from the Kremlin. Right now, no one is taking responsibility for this blast, but Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has already come out and said it is a terrorist act, and he has implied the Chechens are behind this blast -- Jeanne.
MESERVE: Steve, is there a particular reason why Chechens would be suspected at this point in time? Do I understand a security alert was just put out yesterday.
HARRIGAN: That is right. Russians have been under heavy security recently. That's because of an anniversary in the war with Chechnya. In 1996, just a few days ago, that was a date when the Chechens in the south of Russia, who are fighting for independence from Russia, that is the date that they re-took their capital of Grozny from the Russians.
There had been warnings and threats of terrorist activity. And certainly this blast comes just a short time after those warnings. We've seen heightened security, but really so far, no one taking credit for this explosion. So it would be too early to blame it on any one.
In the past, we have seen explosions in Moscow, at times they have been the result of business deals gone bad in Russia. Often, business settled by violence in Russia. But certainly a political heavyweight Russian -- the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, already coming down squarely and saying it is a terrorist act one, certainly one that strikes at the very heart of Moscow, and one that could raise doubts among the Russian people about another war that has already gone on for just about one year -- Jeanne.
MESERVE: Steve Harrigan, in Moscow, thank you. Once again, seven dead, 33 wounded in that bomb blast.
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