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Suicide bomb rocks central market in North Ossetia

Reuters

At least 15 people were killed and 70 wounded when a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a local market in the Russian Caucasus city of Vladikavkaz. The attack in the capital of the mainly Christian region of North Ossetia is the latest to hit the area which has been plagued by an Islamist insurgency over the past few months. 

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Officals have warned the death toll is likely to increase as many of the wounded are in a critical condition.

Taimuran Mansurov, the head of the North Ossetia region, said the headless body of the presumed terrorist was found in the car.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered his envoy for the Russian North Caucasus region, Alexander Khloponin, to fly immediately to Vladikavkaz.

North Ossetia is at the centre of Russia's troubled Northern Caucasus region. It lies north of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia over which Moscow and Tbilisi fought a war in August 2008.

It is the only majority-Christian region in Russia's largely Muslim North Caucasus. It lies alongside the Muslim region of Ingushetia which has also been the target of deadly attacks over the last months.

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