Deputy mayor wounded, two killed in Dagestan: official

23rd August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The deputy mayor of a town in Russia's troubled southern region of Dagestan was badly wounded in an apparent assassination bid Monday, officials said, as two people were killed when their car blew up.

Vasily Naumochkin, deputy mayor of Kizlyar, north of Dagestan's main city Makhachkala, came under fire as he headed to work, the official ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

He was taken to hospital seriously wounded and was undergoing an operation, a source told the news agency.

A dozen people were killed in Kizlyar in a suicide bombing in March. That attack came two days after bombings on the Moscow metro carried out by two female suicide bombers killed 40.

In a separate incident, two people, a driver and passenger, were killed when an explosive substance ignited in their car overnight close to the village of Gubden in Dagestan, the Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies reported.

"It is believed that the explosives went off inside the car. It is possible that this was a so-called suicide belt," an official told the Interfax news agency.

Such explosives-laden belts are strapped to their chests by suicide bombers.

The latest unrest comes after Russian security forces at the weekend shot dead a man suspected of being the mastermind of the Moscow metro attacks in a shootout in Dagestan.

Magomedali Vagabov -- the number two figure in the Islamist-inspired insurgency that has plagued the North Caucasus over the last years -- was also reportedly married to one of the Moscow metro female suicide bombers.

Russia has for the last years been fighting an increasingly deadly Islamist-fuelled insurgency in the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia which has claimed scores of lives annually.

© 2010 AFP

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