41 people, including several children, were injured in a bomb attack in central Moscow yesterday evening. The explosion happened in an amusement arcade at a shopping centre near Red Square. Diners and shoppers, lacerated by flying glass and metal, were carried out on stretchers or led from the underground centre by emergency crews. 24 of the injured are still in hospital.

Federal security officials said that the blast had the impact of a device containing around 300g of explosives. No-one has claimed responsibility, but the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, said it could was a terrorist act. Speculation has centred around the involvement of radical Islamic separatists from Chechyna. However, the proximity of the blast to the offices of the President has given rise to suggestions that the explosion could be linked to the political battles being waged in advance of next year's parliamentary elections.