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Russia: Female Suicide Bombers Leave Many Dead At Moscow Concert

Moscow, 5 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Two women strapped with explosives blew themselves up today outside a Moscow rock concert crowded with tens of thousands of spectators, killing at least 14 other people. Both suicide bombers were also killed.

Moscow city police spokesman Valerii Gribakin said up to 60 people were wounded in the bombings at the Tushino airfield northwest of the Russian capital during the fourth annual "Krylya" rock concert.

Officials said a passport found at the scene identified one of the female suicide bombers as a citizen of Chechnya.

Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov's representative in Russia, Salambek Maigov, denied any responsibility for the bombings.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said most casualties were caused by the second blast.

"Both of the suicide bombers were killed. One had a [suicide] belt that did not work properly. As a result, three people near her were injured. But the other's [belt] worked and the majority of casualties occurred near this second suicide bomber who blew herself up near the main entrance, at the admissions point."

The concert ended several hours after the explosions as authorities had allowed it to continue to avoid panic. Most of the some 20,000 spectators had been unaware of what happened outside the airfield.

The bombings were condemned by several foreign governments, including Germany, France, and Israel.