Police have compiled a composite sketch of the woman who committed a terrorist act in the Mozdok area of North Ossetia, a southern Russia republic which borders Chechnya, Lev Dzugayev, head of the North Ossetian President's Information-Analytical Department, told reporters.
17 troops and staff of the Mozdok Airbase died in a bus blast early on Thursday.
"The homemade explosive device whose power was equivalent to 2 kg of TNT was filled with metal balls some 5 millimeters in diameter, which greatly enhanced the device's damaging potential," Dzugayev said.
Security services believe the suicide bomber woman who blew up the bus carrying servicemen outside Mozdok this morning ultimately meant to target the Russian Air Force base, the Information-Analytical Department head said.
He called attention to the timing of the attack, which occurred just as Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed the second reading of a bill amnestying individuals who participated in fighting in Chechnya. This might indicate that some forces in Chechnya are intent on thwarting the federal government's efforts to normalize the situation in the Chechen Republic, Dzugayev suggested.