Explosion hits Moscow market

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The Independent Online

An explosion possibly caused by a bomb tore through a Moscow market this morning, killing at least eight people and injuring about 25, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.





Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Stadnikova said preliminary information indicated the blast hit the Cherkizovsky market in the north-eastern part of the city about 10.30am local time and was caused by an explosive device.



She said eight people were confirmed dead, including two children. But news reports citing unnamed police officials said the death toll was at least 10.



The explosion occurred in a two-storey building at the market and Stadnikova said about 200 square metres of "light construction" had collapsed.



The ITAR-Tass news agency cited police as saying the explosion appeared to have been caused by a gas cylinder. Such cylinders are widely used at Moscow's markets for heating and cooking.



The news agency Interfax cited an official in the Interior Ministry, which runs police forces, as saying that terrorism was not being considered in connection with the blast.



Markets in Russia's restive Caucasus region frequently have been hit by explosions over the past several years; most of the blasts are believed to be connected to organised crime or commercial disputes.



In February, a roof at a Moscow market collapsed under heavy snow, killing 66 people.

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