updated 8/21/2006 6:11:48 AM ET 2006-08-21T10:11:48

A bomb blast tore through a Moscow market Monday morning, news agencies quoted the city’s deputy mayor as saying, and officials said the blast killed 10 people and injured 31.

Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin said a homemade bomb caused the blast, which hit a two-story trading arcade at Cherkizovsky market in the northeastern part of the city about 10:30 a.m., Russian news agencies reported.

A 200-square-yard section of the market collapsed in the blast, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Stadnikova said. She said at least two of those killed were children.

News reports said the general prosecutor’s office had opened a murder investigation — an indication that police may believe the blast was connected with organized crime or a business dispute rather than terrorism.

“It sounded like a thunderstorm. Who knows what happened?” said Vyacheslav Lobastov, who was shopping at the sprawling market.

Markets in Russia’s restive Caucasus region frequently have been targeted by bombers over the past several years; most of the blasts are believed to be connected to organized crime or commercial disputes.

In February, a roof at a Moscow market collapsed under heavy snow, killing 66 people.

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