Deadly twin blasts rip through Dagestan capital
Two explosions rocked the capital of the restive North Caucasus region of Dagestan on Thursday killing one man and wounding at least 60 others. The blasts hit Makhachkala just after midnight within 40 metres of each other and about 500 metres from the offices of the interior ministry.
The second bomb was planted in a car and had about 35 kilogrammes of TNT equivalent, making it one of the most powerful attacks in the region in recent years. It was filled with construction nails, and was reported to have formed a crater three meters in diameter.
The night blasts followed another explosion on Wednesday evening when four people were killed in a car in the same part of Makhachkala while apparently transporting a bomb, wounding several bystanders.
The bomb had up to five kilogrammes of TNT equivalent and was stuffed with metal rods.
Meanwhile, in another region of Dagestan, several people assaulted a local police chief in the town of Buinaksk Thursday morning, killing his two bodyguards. The victims were police lieutenants.
The Caspian Sea region of Dagestan experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and Islamists with links to Chechnya.
The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s, and the violence has since spread into the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.