A bomb blew up in the early hours yesterday morning at the public reception office of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in downtown Moscow. The blast was reportedly large, but given that it went off around 3 am, only two people were injured: A security guard suffered contusions and a passerby was cut by flying glass, but neither were seriously injured. The blast heavily damaged the FSB building and a Versace boutique across the street, and blew out windows in the vicinity. FSB bomb specialists immediately cordoned off the area and began an investigation.
Law enforcement officials, who called the bombing a “demonstration” of force not intended to claim victims, said they were looking into several possible suspects and motives for the bombing, but would give no details. One newspaper noted recent reports that rebel Chechen field commander Emir Khattab had sent terrorists to Russian cities, including Moscow, to launch attacks. The second “version,” which the paper said was less probable, was that Russian nationalists were behind the bombing–possibly even “Skif,” the previously unknown group which last week took responsibility for the attempted grenade attack on the U.S. embassy (Segodnya, April 5). Another newspaper, in its weekly “Rumors” section, noted the widely circulating rumor that the abortive grenade attack on the U.S. embassy might have been staged by the Russian authorities themselves (Moskovsky komsomolets, April 5).
YELTSIN REMOVES SKURATOV AGAIN.