The Russian Prime Minister has accused Chechnya of being responsible for bombing an apartment block in Moscow yesterday, and is threatening to initiate airstrikes. It is now known that 118 people died in Monday's attack. Russian security forces are reported to have seized nearly four tonnes of explosives during extensive searches in Moscow initiated following the bombing. Another bomb attack in Moscow last Thursday killed 92 people.
One the Taoiseach's first acts on his arrival in Moscow was to express the sympathy of the Irish people to the Russian government at the tragic loss of life in the recent series of bombings. Bertie Ahern said that there was a huge sense of fear in Moscow, which was apparent when he spoke to the staff at the Aer Rianta run Duty Free shop at Moscow Airport. The Taoiseach is now in the centre of Moscow where he is meeting representatives of the Russian-Irish business association.