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Yeltsin: Bomb Attack in Moscow Aimed at Disrupting Sunday Vote

Moscow, June 12 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin has condemned yesterday's bomb attack on the Moscow metro, saying the incident was aimed at disrupting Sunday's presidential election.

The Itar-Tass news agency today quoted Yeltsin as saying in a message to the people of Moscow that the attack was a "savage, barbaric act ... meant to destabilize the situation in the capital."

Yeltsin also said that "the organizers of this crime against innocent people will receive the punishment they deserve."

Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion, which killed four people and badly injured twelve others.

Russian news agencies quoted Moscow security officials as saying the bomb was equipped with a timing device. It exploded in a car of a subway train between the stations of Tulskaya and Nagatinskaya, just south of the city center. The subway system was restored this morning.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has said that "reactionary forces" were behind the attack. In addition to the presidential poll, Moscow's mayoral election is scheduled for Sunday.

Communist leaders have said that the bombing was aimed at destabilizing the situation in Russia ahead of Sunday's elections, and might be used by Yeltsin as a pretext to "start repressing the opposition."

But Kremlin spokesman Sergei Medvedev told Interfax that Yeltsin does not plan to cancel the presidential election and will take all measures to prevent new terrorist attacks.