MOSCOW – A bomb with an explosive equivalent of 12 kilograms of TNT was found Tuesday near a shopping mall in the restive southern republic of Dagestan, security officials said.
Local residents spotted a suspicious-looking bucket containing the device at around 8 a.m. local time in the city of Khasavyurt, the National Antiterrorism Committee said in a statement.
Security officials said the bucket was filled with a mixture of saltpeter and powdered aluminum. The officials said the bomb had been rigged with a fuse and was ready for activation.
The antiterrorism committee said the device was defused by bomb disposal experts.
The find comes one day after an alleged suicide bomber based in Dagestan killed six and injured dozens in an attack on a bus in the south Russian city of Volgograd.
On Monday a suspected female suicide bomber linked to the Islamic insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus set off explosives on a bus packed with University students in Volgograd.
Naida Asiyalova, a 30-year-old native of the Dagestan republic on Russia’s southern border with Azerbaijan, is suspected of blowing herself up. According to a surviving passenger, the explosion happened “almost immediately” after Asiyalova, who was wearing a hijab, boarded the bus, he said.
Dagestan is the place where the Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was reportedly radicalised, and has become the epicentre of a simmering Islamist insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus in recent years, raising fears for security at the forthcoming Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi.