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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Dagestani Blast Kills 2

MAKHACHKALA, Dagestan (AP) -- An explosion went off Friday night near the city police headquarters in Khasavyurt, Dagestan, and a police official said two people were killed.

Khasavyurt has been tense amid a conflict between its mayor and Dagestan's leader, but Itar-Tass quoted police as saying the explosion was caused by a gas canister and took place at a cultural center near the police building.

Interfax said city officials also blamed a gas canister, which they said was in a cafe, but emergency officials said the blast was apparently caused by an explosive device.

Both news agencies reported that the victims were a woman and a small child and that part of the cultural center collapsed following the explosion.

5 Held in Kiev Bombs

KIEV (Reuters) -- Ukrainian police detained five people on Friday suspected of involvement in two bomb explosions Aug. 20 that killed one person and injured 13 at a Kiev market.

"As a result of an investigation, four locals were detained. It was established that they prepared homemade explosive devices and activated them with the help of cellphones," the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Later police said they had detained a fifth suspect, an employee of Ukraine's only independent television station, Channel Five.

Kiev's police chief has said the blasts could have been aimed at "influencing the political situation and stirring up social tensions" ahead of October's presidential election.

Space Crew Named

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The Federal Space Agency named on Saturday the three crewmembers to replace the current two-man crew in October.

Cosmonauts Salizhan Sharipov and Yury Shargin will blast off with U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao on Oct. 9, the agency's head, Anatoly Perminov, said.

Azeri Magazine Sued

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) -- A member of Azerbaijan's ruling party demanded the closure of an opposition magazine and the arrest of its chief editor for allegedly insulting Azeri lawmakers, the publication said Friday.

Lawmaker Siyavush Novruzov, the secretary of the ruling party Yeni Azerbaijan, filed a lawsuit against the magazine, Monitor, in connection with an article published in March, said Elmar Husseynov, the magazine's editor.

The lawsuit demands 200 million manats ($40,000) in damages, an apology, the closure of the magazine and Husseynov's arrest.

Japan Observer Status

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) -- Japan is seeking observer status in a Central Asian security group led by Russia and China, a Japanese official said.

"Japan is very much interested in becoming an observer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," Hatsuhisa Takashima, spokesman to Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, said in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

Ukraine Closes Reactor

KIEV (AP) -- Ukraine's newest nuclear reactor was shut down again, the sixth time since its official launch less than three weeks ago, officials said.

The shutdown of reactor No. 2 at western Ukraine's Khmelnitsky nuclear plant Thursday was triggered automatically when sensors indicated a decrease in steam pressure, the plant said.