Blasts rock gaming halls in Russia's Caucasus

It could be political or criminal, you never know in this region:

Near-simultaneous blasts rocked three slot machine halls in the Russian Caucasus town Vladikavkaz on Thursday, killing two people, the local Emergencies Ministry said.

There was no word on what had caused the blasts in the gaming parlors, which are popular across Russia after gambling was outlawed in Soviet times.

“Thirteen people are injured and two people have died,” a spokesman said.

Russian news agencies reported most casualties were young people in their 20s and there were some children among the injured.

Vladikavkaz is in North Ossetia, the same region where Chechen militants took a school in Beslan hostage in September 2004, resulting in the deaths of 331 people, more than half of them children.