Suicide Bombing Kills at Least Four in Chechnya

Downtown Grozny, Chechnya

A suicide bombing in the Chechen capital Grozny killed at least four police officers on Sunday, around 12:15 p.m. Moscow time.

The bomber was identified as 19-year-old Opti Mudarov, Interfax reported, citing an undisclosed source close to the case. The bomber's identity could not immediately be independently verified.  

At least five bodies could be seen at the site of the explosion in pictures posted on social networks by people at the scene.

Sunday was meant to host an onslaught of festivities as Grozny celebrated its annual city-appreciation day and Teachers Day. Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov also celebrated his birthday Sunday. Finally, the city celebrated Kurban Bayram over the weekend. A large concert was set to take place in the evening.

Police officers noted a suspicious young man in front of metal detectors that visitors had to pass through in order to enter the concert hall.

When police asked the man for his identification documents, an explosive strapped to him was detonated, local law enforcement sources told RIA Novosti. The scene of the incident was blocked off by police.

Suicide bombings have been a rare occurrence in Chechnya since the active phase of an anti-insurgency operation ended there in 2009. In August 2012 two suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of a shop in Grozny, killing three military servicemen and injuring three others.

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