Car bomb kills two police in North Caucasus

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A car packed with explosives blew up in Dagestan, killing two policemen, in the latest in a series of near-daily blasts in Russia's strife-torn North Caucasus, police said on Monday.

A Lada car stuffed with explosives with a strength of 20 kilogrammes of TNT equivalent exploded in the Dagestani city of Kizilyurt late Sunday, killing two policemen and setting their own vehicle on fire, police in Dagestan said.

"As a result of the explosion, two policemen died of their injuries on the spot," regional police said in a statement, adding their vehicle completely burned down.

"A crater with a diameter of around 1.5 meters and depth of 15 centimetres appeared at the site of the explosion," the statement said, adding the blast knocked out windows in nearby buildings.

The Caspian Sea region experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and Islamists with links to Chechnya.

Fuelled by endemic poverty and corruption, the militants are seeking to establish an independent Islamic state across the North Caucasus.

© 2011 AFP

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