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Bus Blast Kills 11 In Russia's North Ossetia

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia (Reuters) -- An explosion has killed 11 people in the southern Russian region of North Ossetia, law enforcement officials said.

The blast occurred as passengers were getting out of a minibus near the main market in the center of the region's biggest city, Vladikavkaz, the Prosecutor-General's main investigative unit said in a statement.

"Today in the center of Vladikavkaz an explosion occurred as a result of which 11 people were killed," the investigative unit said. It said a criminal case had been opened under murder and terrorism clauses.

Russian news agencies quoted law enforcement agencies as saying the cause of the blast was a bomb. Russian state television showed a mangled white minibus and what appeared to be charred human remains lying beside it.

Twenty-eight people, including one child, were also injured in the explosion, Interfax news agency quoted staff at a local hospital as saying.

North Ossetia is in Russia's turbulent North Caucasus region, which has experienced years of violence, much of it blamed on Islamist militants.

North Ossetia includes the town of Beslan, scene of a 2004 school siege in which more than 300 people -- half of them children -- were killed.