The number of police killed in a suicide bomb attack in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan has risen to seven, after a police officer died from blood loss, Russian TV channel NTV reported on Wednesday.
Surgeons are now struggling to save the lives of 15 police officers wounded in the deadly bomb attack, NTV said.
The suicide bomber drove a car into a traffic police depot in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, early on Wednesday but was blocked by a police vehicle before exploding.
A police spokesman said that casualties could have been considerably larger, if the car had not been blocked by the police officers who died as a result of the explosion.
The force of the explosion is estimated at 50-60 kg of TNT equivalent, the spokesman said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday ordered the Federal Security Service to tighten security in the North Caucasus following the suicide bomb attack.
Medvedev has instructed Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, to investigate thoroughly the circumstances of the terrorist attack in Makhachkala and ordered Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to enhance control of the situation in the North Caucasus and provide assistance to those injured in the bomb attack and the families of the victims.
Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence lately, with frequent attacks on police and officials.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has earlier pledged to wage "a ruthless fight" against militant groups but also acknowledged a need to tackle unemployment, organized crime, clan rivalry and corruption as causes of the ongoing violence.
MOSCOW, January 6 (RIA Novosti)