13 dead, scores hurt in Dagestan blasts

2012-05-04 09:00

Makhachkala - Two vehicles exploded outside a police station in the Russian republic of Dagestan, killing at least 13 people and wounding scores, and authorities said on Friday it was probably a co-ordinated attack by the region's Islamic insurgents.

The militants frequently attack police and civilians in Dagestan in Russia's restive North Caucasus, and law enforcement is engaged in nearly daily clashes with local militants. But the bombing attacks such as Thursday night's in Makhachkala, the capital, are less common.

The first blast near the traffic police station went off when a car pulled up for an ID check.

Twenty-five minutes later, as the scene of the blast was filled with troops and investigators, a second explosion occurred in a minivan parked nearby, officials said. Investigators then found the bodies of a male and a female who may have been suicide bombers.

Kazanfar Kurbanov, the Emergency Ministry chief physician in Dagestan, said 13 people were killed and more than 120 wounded, 15 of them critically.

He said it was probably a co-ordinated attack by an insurgency that spread to the region from neighbouring Chechnya where Russian forces have fought two wars with separatists since 1994.