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Russia: Explosions Leave At Least 60 Dead In Grozny

Grozny, 22 October 1999 (RFE/RL) - At least 60 people are dead and scores seriously wounded following large explosions last night in the center of the Chechen capital, Grozny. Chechen officials put the death toll much higher. Some of the blasts tore through stalls at an open-air market shortly after dark. Other explosions were reported at various locations around the city, including a maternity home near the Chechen presidential palace. Many inside the home are believed to have died. Chechen officials say the blasts were caused by missiles fired by Russian forces. Russia's Defense Ministry denies carrying out the attack. The attack comes as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is in Helsinki for talks about the Chechen crisis with European Union leaders.