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Two police officers killed in car bombing in Russia's volatile Dagestan republic

By Maxim Tkachenko, CNN
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Mon October 3, 2011
There have been 110 terrorist attacks in Dagestan this year Russian security services say, including this car bomb in Khasavyurt in January
There have been 110 terrorist attacks in Dagestan this year Russian security services say, including this car bomb in Khasavyurt in January
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The officers were on patrol when a car bomber detonated a device
  • The bombing leaves a crater 1.5 meters (5 feet) wide and 15 centimeters (6 inches) deep
  • Dagestan is the largest and most volatile of the five Northern Caucasus regions

Moscow (CNN) -- Two policemen were killed by a suicide car bomber in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, the Dagestani Interior Ministry said on its website Monday.

The ministry said the officers were patrolling the town of Kizilyurt in a minivan around midnight when an unidentified bomber sitting in a parked Lada car set off an unidentified explosive device in his car as the police minivan was passing by.

The explosion left a crater 1.5 meters (5 feet) wide and 15 centimeters (6 inches) deep, the ministry said. The police minivan was burned out, the ministry said.

Dagestan has been hit by a series of deadly attacks recently, including fatal bombings and shootings.

It is the largest and most volatile of the five Northern Caucasus regions. Rebels continue to stage frequent attacks on security forces, police and civilians.

In August, the head of the Federal Security Service Alexandr Bortnikov told the Russian president that in the first six months of this year, 169 terrorist acts were committed, of which 110 took place in Dagestan.

In recent years, Dagestan has faced ethnic friction, spillover from the discord in neighboring Chechnya and attacks on government officials by militant Islamists, the International Crisis Group has said.

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