Dagestan suicide bombing targets Russian military
A Dagestan suicide bombing that struck a Russian military base Sunday underscored the difficulties Moscow faces in stamping out violence in the restive republic.
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It is only the latest attack in the North Caucasus, where Russia has been battling a growing insurgency for years that has challenged the legacy of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who as president vowed to wipe out the unrest (See map of region here).
Russian officials say a car packed with explosives rammed through the gate on a military base in the city of Buinaksk, reports the Associated Press. The driver was headed for an area where soldiers sleep, but crashed into a truck after soldiers opened fire. Russian officials say three soldiers were killed and 32 wounded in the explosion, while Agence France-Presse reports that law-enforcement officials said five were killed and 35 wounded.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Previous attacks in the Northern Caucasus have been blamed on a militant group led by Chechen rebel Doku Umarov. who also claimed responsibility for bombings of the Moscow metro in March that killed 39 people.
A second bomb struck police heading to the scene of the first explosion, but no one was reported hurt in the attack.
State-owned news agency RIA Novosti reports that Dagestan’s president, Magomedsalam Magomedov, said the attack shows militants in Dagestan are still strong.
“The republic's law enforcement agencies have held a range of successful operations against militants within the [p]resent time. But they still have to augment efforts to eliminate militant bands entirely," Mr. Magomedov told the news agency.