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  Words in the News
  The most recent bomb blast in Moscow targetted an apartment block where the death toll rose to 118. BBC Russian Affairs Specialists Paul Anderson and Malcolm Haslett reported.
  Audio Listen to the report in full
After bomb attack

16th September 1999

Bomb attacks in Moscow

NEWS 1   More than a thousand rescue workers have been searching the blast site for sign of survivors but hopes of reaching anyone alive have all but disappeared. As they worked, a huge police operation swung into action to find three men named as key suspects. Security at nuclear power plants, airports and other potential targets throughout Russia has been stepped up. Troops and police have been drafted into the capital and have been searching buildings for explosives. They reported finding and defusing one bomb. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Russian officials now openly blame Islamic militants fighting for an independent homeland in Chechnya and the neighbouring republic of Dagestan.

all but: very nearly or almost

huge: very large

swung into action: began

potential targets: possible targets - places that may be aimed at

stepped up: increased

defusing: taking a fuse out of a bomb so that it cannot explode. A fuse delays the explosion of a bomb

NEWS 2   Most people in Moscow live in just such a block as the two destroyed in the past week, in Guryanova Street and now on the busy Kashirskoye Boulevard on the city’s south side. In both cases the multi-storeyed buildings collapsed in a heap of rubble. The people asleep inside had little chance of escape, whether they were on the top storeys or lower down. Many of Moscow’s apartment blocks were built rapidly from pre-fabricated panels in the post-war years, to house the dramatic expansion of the population which now stands at over ten million. These blocks have always been vulnerable to fire and gas explosions, like the one last year which killed six people.

just such a block: a block of flats similiar to the one which has been destroyed

multi-storeyed buildings: buildings constructed on a number of levels or storeys (floors)

a heap of rubble: a pile of broken glass, metal and cement

post-war years: in this case, the years following the Second World War

stands at: at present the population is over ten million but this number may change

vulnerable: if a building is vulnerable, then it is not well protected against explosions - from fire, gas or bombs

    Read about the background in BBC News Online

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