Blast kills 100 in Russia

AN explosion has torn through a nightclub in the Russian city of Perm, killing at least 100 people, media reports say.

Details are sketchy but Russian news agencies report dozens more were hurt and that 200 people had been inside.

Emergency officials quoted by state-run news agency RIA-Novosti said the cause was fireworks but did not specify if those were being used in a show at the club or if they were in storage.

The explosion happened at 23.15 local time (20.15 GMT), RIA news agency reported.

It quoted an official as saying no blaze followed the blast.

“The explosion occurred in the Lame Horse bar in Perm,” Interfax quoted a police official as saying.

The club is located in the city centre, reports said.

Perm is some 1,400km (870 miles) east of Moscow.

The blast comes a week after a powerful homemade bomb sent a high-speed Moscow-to-St Petersburg train careening off its tracks.

Chechen rebels took responsibility this week for the bombing, which killed 26 people and injured 87.

The claim was carried on Kavkazcenter.com, a website that often carries information from Islamic rebels seeking independence for the Russian republic of Chechnya.

“We state that the given operation was prepared and carried out as part of the sabotage actions against strategically important facilities of Russia planned earlier this year and successfully carried out on the orders of Caucasus emir Doku Umarov,” the statement said.

Russia has been hit by a number of major terrorist attacks since the 1991 Soviet collapse, including the seizures of the Dubrovka theatre in October 2002.


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