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Day of mourning for Russian victims

Flags are flying at half-mast in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz and stunned residents have laid flowers in a square where a suicide car bombing killed 17 people and wounded more than 140.

Thursday's bombing near the central market of the capital of the North Ossetia republic was the most serious attack in Russia since the March subway bombings in Moscow that killed 40 people.

Of those wounded, 107 were in local hospitals and 11 severely injured victims had been flown to Moscow, North Ossetian health minister Vladimir Selivanov said.

The Vladikavkaz market remains cordoned off while debris is cleared and investigations continue.

Nearby, weeping relatives mourned two bombing victims: 54-year-old Yaselin Mamedova and nine-year-old Elnus Ashimov as their bodies were prepared for burial.

There has been no public claim of responsibility for the attack, but suspicion fell on Islamic militants who launch frequent small attacks in neighbouring North Caucasus republics, including Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia.

Meanwhile, in Dagestan on Friday, a policeman and a prison warden were shot and killed in separate attacks.

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