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Gas-Explosion Death Toll In Daghestan Rises To Five

Health officials say the death toll from a natural-gas explosion in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan has risen to five.

The explosion on August 1 at a restaurant in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala, caused wide concern. The city, and the entire province, has been troubled in the past by violence spilling over from neighboring Chechnya.

But authorities ruled out terrorism as a cause of the blast, which also injured 28 people.

The regional Health Ministry said on August 8 that two women injured by the blast died in a Makhachkala hospital.

Two other women died in a Moscow clinic over the weekend.

The first victim of the explosion, a 15-year-old girl, died on August 5.

According to the ministry, 14 other people injured by the explosion remain in hospitals in Makhachkala and Moscow.

Gas explosions occur with some frequency in Russia, due to aging pipelines and infrastructure, or lax safety standards.

Based on reporting by TASS and RIA Novosti

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