Foreign rivals use radical Islam to weaken Russia: Putin

UFA, Russia (REUTERS) - Russian president Vladimir Putin accused foreign rivals on Tuesday of using radical Islam to weaken the Russian state, a day after a suicide bombing blamed on a Muslim woman.

"Some political forces use Islam, the radical currents within it ... to weaken our state and create conflicts on Russian soil that can be managed from abroad," Mr Putin told Muslim clerics at a meeting in the Russian city of Ufa.

Mr Putin was speaking about 1,000km northeast of Volgograd, where the female suicide bomber from the mainly Muslim North Caucasus killed six people on a bus on Monday. He did not say which foreign rivals he was referring to.