Russian blast kills at least 12

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At least 12 people have been killed and 80 injured following a blast at a market in Russia.

The blast in the capital of the mostly Orthodox Christian province of North Ossetia came amid a persistent wave of violence linked to an Islamic insurgency in the neighbouring Muslim regions of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed law enforcement official as saying the blast may have been caused by a car bomb.

A witness said the blast occurred in a street near the market. Bodies lay on the ground as frantic medics attempted to tend the wounded and fire crews extinguished a wrecked and burning car.

North Ossetia, where 331 people died in the 2004 Beslan school siege, has seen relatively little violence in recent years as an Islamist insurgency gained momentum in neighbouring regions.

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