Thursday, December 29, 2005

Man blows himself up near Russia mosque

Associated Press:

A man blew himself up in what appeared to be an attempted suicide bombing Thursday near a mosque in the Russian province of Dagestan, killing himself and injuring another person, police said.

A spokesman for the local branch of the Interior Ministry said that the man probably detonated his belt of explosives by accident.

Dagestan has been plagued by increasing violence, some spilling over from the separatist conflict in Chechnya.

Chechen rebels have carried out several suicide bombings inside Russia in recent years, most notably a handful by women in Moscow, but they remain relatively rare compared to other types of attacks.

The RIA-Novosti news agency quoted witnesses as saying that the man appeared to be on his way to a nearby house in Makhachkala, where a ceremony was being held for the son of a top police official shot dead late Tuesday.

In Tuesday's attack, gunmen opened fire on a car used by Deputy Interior Minister Magomed Gazimagomedov. He was not in the car, but his son, who was a security officer, and a bodyguard were killed.

The same day, a shootout erupted between a group of police officers and alleged rebels they were trying to apprehend elsewhere in Dagestan. A policeman and a suspected militant were killed.

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