Attack on Russian power plant kills two
Two people have been killed and a further two injured after militants burst into a hydroelectric plant in Russia's volatile Caucasus region early Wednesday morning, setting off explosions and opening fire.
Regional police report that a group of between three and five militants killed two police guards at the station located in the village of Atazhukino, before stealing their weapons.
The attackers, whose identities are unknown, then detonated mines in the turbine room of the power plant in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, injuring two employees, one of whom is in a critical condition.
Oleg Grekov, a regional official with the country's emergency situations ministry, confirmed that two of the power plant's turbines had been damaged, causing the plant to close.
Gennady Vykhristyuk, another regional official, assured a worried public that "there is no danger of a technological accident or catastrophe," in televised remarks.
As Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rushed to an urgent meeting to handle the crisis he told his deputy in charge of the energy sector, Igor Sechin, to ensure that power supplies to the region will not be disrupted.
The power plant is located in a region where authorities face a constant battle against Islamist rebels.
Militants have vowed to bring war to the area by targeting key infrastructure sites such as the hydroelectric plant.
President Dmitry Medvedev labelled unrest in the Caucasus as Russia's most serious domestic issue.
The news comes just one month after Putin unveiled an ambitious new economic drive to bring prosperity and end problems in the Caucasus.