Bus blast kills at least 5 in south Russia

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VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia, Nov 22 (Reuters) A blast ripped through a bus in Russia's southern region of North Ossetia today, killing at least five people and wounding 10, local emergency workers said.

About 20 people were on the bus when the blast took place, just after passing a police checkpoint near the internal border with the neighbouring region of Kabardino-Balkaria.

''Five people were killed and about ten wounded,'' a spokesman for the local emergency ministry said.

''The bus had just passed a police checkpoint on the border with Kabardina-Balkaria when the blast occurred.

He said the bus was travelling to North Ossetia's capital, Vladikavkaz.

North Ossetia, nestled in Russia's turbulent North Caucasus, was the scene of the 2004 Beslan school attack in 2004 when gunmen took hundreds of children hostage. More than 330 people were killed, half of them children.

That massacre deepened the mistrust between the region's Christians and their Muslim neighbours, and between the North Ossetians and Ingushetia, who fought a brief war in the 1990s over a disputed border.

REUTERS RSA BST0015

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