At least 32 people were
killed Dec. 27 when two suicide bombers drove trucks into the Chechen government
compound in the regional capital of Grozny and detonated them, according
to press reports.
Chechen Interior Minister
Ruslan Tsakayev said the bombs were contained in a truck and an off-road
vehicle that broke into the government compound. Authorities still were trying
to determine the number of casualties, which he characterized as "significant."
Meanwhile, U.S. federal
authorities and legislators have warned recently of terrorists using trucks
for deadly missions. Last week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) wrote the Transportation
Security Administration, worried that fuel-laden trucks carrying hazardous
materials are a potential weapon the federal government needs to more closely
In a statement, Schumer
said, "Today, if terrorists wanted to do something horrible to us, chances
are they could take a truck with dangerous materials in it, drive it to a
major landmark, ignite the cargo right there and cause unspeakable damage."
In the Chechen explosion,
authorities said the larger truck exploded next to the building, while a
smaller vehicle blew up in an adjacent parking lot used by government cars.
The explosions had the force of one ton of TNT and left a 20-foot-wide crater,