Explosion kills boy in Chechen capital

A car bomb exploded in downtown Grozny on Monday, killing a boy, Deputy Interior Minister Akhmed Dakayev.

Dakayev said nine other people were wounded, including four policemen, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The boy was helping out at a nearby gas station, a news report said. The deputy interior minister said the victim was 12 years old.

Chechen police official Buvadi Dakhiyev told The Associated Press that the car exploded outside a popular restaurant called Hollywood.

The NTV television channel showed footage of the twisted and charred metal remains of the car in the regional capital of the conflict-torn province of Chechnya, where Russian forces are battling separatist rebels.

The explosion occurred some 200 meters (655 feet) from the heavily protected compound of government buildings.

Also Monday, a police chief and his driver in a southern Russian region bordering Chechnya were wounded when unknown assailants detonated a radio-controlled land mine as his car was passing, officials said.

Dzhabrail Kostoyev, police chief of the main city in Ingushetia, and his driver were hospitalized after the incident in Nazran and are now in intensive care, Roman Shchekotin, said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's branch in southern Russia.

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