Monday, December 26, 2005

Jihadis Hit
Russian Stores
With Poison Gas
Story Comes
19 Days Later?
Something Strange
Is Going On

Gas capsules with timers attatched have been found in St. Petersburg stores. In one store they went off:

SAINT PETERSBURG (AFP) - Gas capsules with timers attached were found in stores in Saint Petersburg, the Russian city where dozens of people fell ill after inhaling an unknown gas that spread through a store, officials said.

"The devices that were discovered consisted of capsules of gas with a strong garlicky smell. Clocks set to the current time were attached," a spokesman for the Federal Security Service in Saint Petersburg told AFP on Monday.

Only in one of the three stores, all belonging to the Maksidom chain, did a capsule release gas, officials said. Dozens of people felt sick after inhaling the substance, with 16 hospitalised.

Russia has been criticized for being too brutal against the Islamists in Chechneya. It is clear that they have not been brutal enough.

Where is Vlad the Impaler when we need him?

UPDATE: In trying to find a photo for this story, I came across the one above, which was accompanied by the following text:

Russian police patrol near a block of flats that was destroyed earlier in the day by a gas explosion in northeast Moscow, on December 7. Dozens of people have been hospitalized in the northern Russian city of Saint Petersburg after inhaling an unknown gas that spread through a store in the city.(AFP/File/Yuri Kadobnov)

This is a very strange story. Let me be clear about this. The AFP/Yahoo headline for this story was "Gas Capsules With Timers Found In Russian Stores." I was going to run with a similar headline, when I found that, in the body of the AFP article, one of the capsules had actually exploded, hospitalizing sixteen people.

Then, I find the picture with this text. A whole block of flats were destroyed? People were hospitalized after inhaling poison gas? And, this isn't the headline news internationally? In fact, it has been hidden by a rather inocuous headline, and it has been hidden for nineteen days.

What is going on?

UPDATE II: CNN is reporting the gas had a "garlicy" smell, indicating that it may be Mustard Gas, or Arsine, both of which are lethal chemical agents.

UPDATE III: J, at Justify This, points out that Chechen schoolgirls seem to have been hit by a chemical attack as well, just a few weeks ago. Authorities were "baffled" as to what could have been the cause.