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No Taiwanese hurt in Russia attack: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- No Taiwanese nationals were injured during the two recent suspected suicide bombing incidents that occurred Sunday and Monday in Russia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

MOFA said Taiwan's representative office in Moscow has made contact with all Taiwanese businessmen and other nationals in the country and no injuries have been reported so far, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday.

The office has tightened security control following the bombing incidents, MOFA said.

Kao said that the two bombing incidents happened in Volgograd, which is far away from the Russian Federation's capital city Moscow, where most Taiwanese nationals live. Volgograd lies about 900 kilometers south of Moscow.

Around 20 Taiwanese businessmen currently live in Moscow while another 200 Taiwanese students are studying in Russia's capital city.

According to foreign media reports, at least 12 people have been killed and more than 20 others hurt in a suspected suicide bombing on a trolleybus in the Russian city of Volgograd on Monday.

The blast comes only one day after at least 17 people died in another suicide attack at the city's central station.

Security has been tightened at railway stations and airports across Russia following the series of bombings, reports said.

A spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee said both explosions are now being treated as acts of terrorism.

Moscow is concerned that militant groups could be ramping up violence in the run-up to the 2014 winter Olympic Games in the city of Sochi.

Meanwhile, MOFA said the travel alert level for the Russian Federation remains yellow, the second lowest level in MOFA's four color system.

But the ministry is monitoring the situation and will raise the alert level if needed.

Under MOFA's four-color travel alert system, yellow means travelers should take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel.

The highest level of warning level is red, followed by orange, yellow and gray.

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