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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Beslan Women Identified

Two Chechen women suspected of plotting terrorist attacks in Moscow were among the terrorists who seized the Beslan school, Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel said.

Shepel said specialists examining the bodies of those killed in the September attack have identified the remains of Roza Nagayeva and Maryam Taburova, Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors initially said Nagayeva was a suicide bomber who detonated herself near Moscow's Rizhskaya metro station on Aug. 29, killing 10 people, though forensics experts debunked the claim in November. Investigators had said Nagayeva, Taburova and two other women traveled from Grozny to Moscow in August to carry out terrorist attacks.

The two other women had been suspected of blowing up two passenger jets in midair in August. (MT)

Tajik Leader Goes Missing

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- A Tajik opposition leader is missing days after being freed in Moscow by police who had held him at Tajik authorities' request, his party said Wednesday.

The Democratic Party said its leader, Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, had been missing since Friday and urged Russian authorities and international organizations to help find him.

Tajik authorities have sought Iskandarov's extradition to charge him with attempting to overthrow the government, banditry and terrorism. (AP)

Military Blast Kills Civilian

An explosion rocked a workshop where workers were decommissioning a military unit's weapons Wednesday, killing a civilian worker, defense officials said.

The artillery round detonated in the village of Shelemishevskie Khutora, which is in the Ryazan region. (AP)

2 Die in Harsh Weather

VLADIVOSTOK -- Heavy winds and rain ripped through the Pacific port of Vladivostok on Wednesday, killing two people, as a rough weather front moved into the Far East.

One man was killed by a falling tree -- one of 27 uprooted by the gusts of wind -- and another by metal sheeting that was ripped off a roof. (AP)

Trans-Siberian Collision

A cargo train struck a car on the Trans-Siberian Railway, killing one person and injuring another, police said.

The incident took place 20 kilometers east of Irkutsk on Tuesday when the car's driver ignored traffic lights and entered the crossing. (AP)

Niyazov Pledges to Leave

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov assured the head of Europe's leading security organization Wednesday that he would not seek another term.

Dimitrij Rupel, the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Niyazov assured him that several candidates would run for president in 2009. Niyazov, 65, has ruled since 1985. (AP)

Red Rain Falls on Voronezh

Red rain fell in the Voronezh region, colored by pollutants from a local paint factory, Itar-Tass reported Wednesday.

The rusty-red rain, which fell on agricultural land, was colored by ochre, a natural pigment containing clay and iron oxide, Itar-Tass said. The pollutant came from a paint factory in the nearby town of Zhuravka, an investigation found, but it presented no danger to people or animals. (Reuters)