ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia – A suicide car bomber hit the central market of a major city in Russia's North Caucasus on Thursday, killing at least 17 and wounding more than 130 people in one of the worst attacks in the volatile region in years, officials said.
The attacker detonated his explosives as he drove by the main entrance to the Vladikavkaz market, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry.
At least 17 people, including the suicide bomber, were killed and 133 were wounded in the explosion, said Alexander Pogorely of the Emergency Situations Ministry's branch in southern Russia. He said 98 of the injured were hospitalized, many in grave condition.
Russian television stations showed a shrapnel-littered square in front of the market, with blood stains on the pavement and rows of vehicles scarred by the blast.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his regional envoy to Vladikavkaz to help coordinate efforts to help the victims. He urged the investigators to "do everything to track down the beasts, the scoundrels who conducted that terror attack."