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Four die in Russia train blast

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The train was derailed by the blast.

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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Four people were killed and 49 wounded after an explosion tore through a passenger train in southern Russia, officials say.

The blast ripped through the fourth car of a six-car train near the city of Kislovodsk around 7 a.m., according to Anatoly Lesnikh, the press secretary for the governor of Stavropol region.

It was not immediately known if the explosion came from inside the car or from the tracks below.

Kislovodsk -- about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) south of Moscow -- is just northwest of the border with Chechnya, where Russian forces have been fighting separatists rebels for the last decade.

Suspecting an attack by Chechen rebels, the Russian Prosecutors Office immediately opened a terrorism investigation, a spokesman said.

As yet there has been no claim of responsibility.

The Interfax news agency said local police had detained a man who tried to flee the area after the explosion. But the man was suffering from shock and had been taken to hospital, officials said.

President Vladimir Putin, who is under pressure to end the violence by Chechen rebels, including suicide bombings in Moscow, called the local governor to be briefed on the situation, Reuters said.

It was not immediately known if the explosion came from inside the car or from the tracks below.

According to some officials, there were two explosions under the train on route from Kislovodsk to Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus region. The bombs contained five kilograms (11lb) of explosives, preliminary investigations showed.

Russian forces withdrew from Chechnya following a 1994-1996 war that left separatists in charge, but returned in 1999 after Chechnya-based militants invaded a neighboring region.

-- CNN Producer Ryan Chilcote contributed to this report


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