The blast in a bus near Mozdok has prompted the Prosecutor's Office of North Ossetia, a North Caucasian republic that borders on Chechnya, to institute criminal proceedings on the basis of the article "Terrorism," a source in the republic's Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti.
The blast occurred at the 48th kilometer of the Mozdok-Prokhladnoye motorway at 7:30 in the morning.
"A woman hailed the bus, which was packed with pilots and employed personnel and heading for the airport of Mozdok, at the railway crossing. Stepping inside the bus, she set off a powerful explosive device," said the source.
Witnesses said the suicide bomber was a woman of about 30.
The blast killed 15 people and wounded 12, the source reported.
Federal Security Service officers and officials from the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor's Office of North Ossetia are examining the site of the explosion.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.