MOSCOW – A bomb tore through a Moscow market Monday morning, killing at least 10 people and injuring scores. Officials said initial evidence indicated a commercial or criminal dispute was behind the blast, but didn't rule out terrorism.
The Interfax news agency reported that two suspects had been detained. It cited unidentified investigators as saying both had been seen leaving a bag near one of the market's pavilions shortly before the explosion.
Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin said a homemade bomb caused the blast, which hit a two-story trading arcade at Cherkizovsky market in northeastern Moscow at about 10:30 a.m. City prosecutor Yuri Syomin told reporters at the scene that 41 people had been hospitalized.
He said the possibility the blast was a terrorist attack "is not being completely ruled out," but said it was more likely that it was connected with organized crime or with a dispute between businessmen. Business violence in the Russian capital is less frequent than in the post-Soviet 1990s, but outbreaks still occur.
A 2,150-square-feet section of the market collapsed in the blast, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Stadnikova said. She said at least two of those killed were children.
The Russian general prosecutor's office said it had opened a murder investigation; terrorism is a separate offense under Russian law.
The market is one of several sprawling complexes on Moscow's outskirts that teem with people shopping at hundreds of small food, clothing and hardware stands.
"It sounded like a thunderstorm. Who knows what happened?" said Vyacheslav Lobastov, who was shopping at the market.
Markets in Russia's restive Caucasus region frequently have been targeted by bombers over the past several years; most of the blasts are believed to be connected to organized crime or commercial disputes. In June, two people were injured in an explosion at a market in Samara.