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|Thursday, August 10, 2000, updated at 17:13(GMT+8)|
Moscow Blast Toll Rises to 8The toll in Tuesday's blast in central Moscow has risen to eight after a man suffering injuries and burns died Wednesday night, Russian media reported Thursday.
Seven people were killed at the scene of the explosion, which rocked an underpass near Pushkinskaya Ploshchad, a public square not far away from the Kremlin. More than 100 others were injured and are being treated in several local hospitals.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the most powerful this year to hit the Russian capital, although some officials immediately pointed their fingers at separatists of the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
Last year, a series of explosions across Russia killed more than 300 people and injured numerous others. Authorities believe Chechen militants were behind the blasts.
First Deputy Prosecutor General Yuri Biryukov said Wednesday that no suspect has been detained for the Pushkin Square blast, the Interfax news agency reported.
Some suspects might be detained for various checks in the course of search operations, but there are no detainees on this particular case, Biryukov said.
Three major avenues are being pursued at the moment: a terrorist act, hostilities between criminal groupings over the division of trading territories in the Pushkin Square underpass and a domestic crime resulting from personal enmity, revenge or jealousy, the prosecutor said.
Law enforcement bodies beefed up security across the country in the aftermath of the Tuesday blast.
In Moscow, an anti-terrorist operation started Tuesday evening and all vehicles coming to Moscow are being thoroughly examined by reinforced traffic police checkpoints.
In downtown Moscow, traffic appeared to be much lighter than usual after the stepped-up security checks.
Alexander Oboidikhin, a spokesman for the Municipal Interior Ministry, urged Muscovites to set up vigilante posts in apartment building stairwells and to organize patrols of their buildings and yards.
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