Seven killed in Chechnya suicide attacks: officials
At least seven people, mainly police officers, were killed and 18 injured in two suicide bomb blasts in the Chechen capital Grozny on Tuesday, Chechen officials said.
Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said "five police officers, an official of the emergency situations ministry and a civilian," were killed in the twin attacks, the Russian Interfax news agency reported.
The 18 injured were taken to hospital, he added.
Meanwhile, a police official in the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia, cited by the Ria Novosti agency, said the explosions were both suicide attacks.
The first went off as police were attempting to arrest a suspect in a road in Grozny to check his papers. The second blast occurred quickly afterwards, the official was reported as saying.
The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the North Caucasus since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, waging a war in 1994-1996 against separatist rebels in Chechnya.
After a second war in Chechnya in 1999, the rebellion's inspiration moved towards Islam with the aim of imposing an Islamic state in the region.
Although the war ended in 2000, rebels have waged an increasingly deadly insurgency, with the unrest spreading into other areas of the North Caucasus.
© 2011 AFP