MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – Two police officers were killed and 16 people injured in a suicide bombing Monday morning in Russia's troubled North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, according to police.
A car was parked outside a police headquarters building in the town of Khuchni, a district center south of the Dagestani capital, by a suicide bomber who then detonated explosives inside the vehicle, the Interior Ministry said in a statement released Monday.
The power of the explosion was equivalent to 70 kilograms of TNT, according to a report by the National Anti-Terrorism Committee.
As a result of the blast two police officers were killed and 14 police officers injured, two of whom are in a critical condition in a hospital, according to the Interior Ministry. Two civilians were injured as well, and the bomber reportedly died in the explosion, police said.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said that nine police vehicles were damaged in the blast.
Attacks on security forces, police and civilians occur regularly in the North Caucasus, generated by ethnic, religious and political rivalries, as well as poverty and corruption. The violence is also fed by an Islamist insurgency, which has been especially resilient in Dagestan and fueled a series of bloody post-Soviet separatist wars in the neighboring republic of Chechnya.
Updated with new number of injured and details on the explosive device.