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Man blows himself up at TV station in Abkhazia

The unidentified man detonated the explosives near the entrance to the Abkhazian State Television station headquarters in the capital, Sukhumi. Regional leaders say it's too early to designate the blast a terrorist act.

The attack in the capital of the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia was reported by Russian media on Monday morning. 

"A man blew himself up on the territory of the TV center. It was obviously clear that he had a bomb," Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Abkhazia's interior minister, Aslan Kobakhiya, as saying.

The Interior Ministry also reportedly announced that the improvised device contained an equivalent of 200 grams (7.05 ounces) of TNT. The blast took place in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi, Russia's Interfax news agency reported, adding that "the corpse of a bearded man" was found at the scene, citing the region's emergency services ministry.

Authorities stopped short of calling the incident a terrorist attack, with the region's president, Raul Khajimba, telling Interfax that it was "too early to talk about an attempted terrorist attack."

"Let's wait for the results of the investigation. We have not even managed to identify the man who blew himself up," Khajimba told Interfax.

No information on other injuries or deaths was provided in the initial reports.

Abkhazia claimed independence from Georgia in the early 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia effectively controls the region along with a second breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia, after a brief conflict with Georgia in 2008.

rs/msh    (AP, AFP)

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