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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Large Car Bomb Defused at Grozny Police Station

VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia -- Police said they defused a powerful car bomb in front of the main police headquarters in Grozny on Monday, less than a week after an explosion gutted a precinct house and killed 25 people.

Grozny police found a car rigged with 20 kilograms of explosives in front of the Interior Ministry department building in Grozny, Interfax quoted the chief of police in Chechnya's Moscow-backed government, Said-Selim Peshkhoyev, as saying. The car was towed to a safe place and blown up by a bomb squad, he said.

Meanwhile, authorities said they have arrested several suspects in Thursday's bombing, which killed 25 police at the precinct house in Grozny's Zavodskoi district.

Deputy Mayor Supyan Makhchayev said three suspects were detained and two others remained at large. He repeated other officials' statements that the blast appeared to have been staged by police officers who faced dismissal. "The explosion inside the office of the district police chief ... was their revenge," Makhchayev said.

Interfax quoted Peshkhoyev as saying that two suspects had been detained -- not three -- on suspicion of being linked to the bombing, both of them police officers who worked in the precinct.

President Vladimir Putin questioned Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov on Monday about the investigation into the blast and urged officials to make sure that the victims' relatives receive compensation.

"We must fully provide assistance to the victims relatives in the amount not less that in any other Russian region," Putin said during a Kremlin meeting in brief televised remarks. The statement appeared to be aimed at boosting the morale of other Chechen policemen.

Meanwhile, a Chechen peace activist said Monday that he has been on a hunger strike since last month to urge Moscow to launch peace talks with rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, and another four Chechens joined him last week.

Sulumbek Tashtamirov said he stopped eating three weeks ago at a refugee camp in Ingushetia but was forced to travel to Moscow because the local authorities tried to stop his action.

"It would sound pathetic if I say that we shall continue our action until we die, but we feel resolute and aren't going to stop it," Tashtamirov told reporters.