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Two dead in North Caucasus attacks: reports

A mosque leader was killed Friday when a man fired on a crowd and one policeman died in a bomb blast in separate attacks in Russia’s violent North Caucasus region, Russian news agencies reported.

“An unknown assailant opened fire with an automatic weapon on people headed to a mosque for prayer. One man was killed and one wounded,” a police source told Interfax.

The source said the man who died was an imam at a mosque in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.

In a separate bomb attack in the neighboring region of Ingushetia, one policeman was killed and 10 others wounded, the agency reported.

The bomb was triggered in a groceries store after police arrived to investigate a shootout that had taken place there earlier.

“At the very moment when the investigators went into the grocery store an explosion went off… as a result, one policeman was killed and more than 10 others wounded,” a police source was quoted a as saying.

Ingushetia and Dagestan are part of the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus, which is the site of a violent insurgency pitting Russian forces against separatist rebels.