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Russia: Parliament Discussing Moscow Bombings

Moscow, 14 September 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russia's lower house of parliament has begun a meeting to hear a report from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on a series of bombings that have struck Moscow. At least 121 people are reported dead in yesterday's explosion at a Moscow apartment building--the third deadly bomb attack in the Russian capital in 10 days. Putin has described the explosions as "terrorist acts." Earlier today, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said law enforcement officials prevented a possible blast yesterday at a residential building in southern Moscow. A Moscow police spokesman said police and Interior Ministry troops have checked more than 26,000 apartments, hospitals and entertainment centers since the bombings began. Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev has suggested the formation of joint patrols between army and police forces to maintain order in Moscow. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said two suspects have been detained in connection with the explosions. The Interfax news agency reports that three people are being questioned. Police say they are also searching for three more suspects.

There has been no claims of responsibility for the blasts. Authorities have linked the attacks to Moscow's battle against Islamic insurgents in the north Caucasus republic of Dagestan.