Car bomb wounds senior official, kills driver in Dagestan

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A car bomb on Saturday wounded a senior Russian official and killed his driver in the volatile North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Russian investigators said.

Bekmurza Bekmurzayev, the regional minister in charge of national policy, religious and foreign affairs, was taken to hospital along with two bodyguards, also injured in the attack, Russia's investigative committee said in a statement.

He "left in an official car from the park in front of his own home for the office when unknown assailants detonated explosives under his car," it said.

"The driver died on the spot, while the minister and two bodyguards were taken to the hospital."

Shootings and bomb attacks have become a near-daily occurrence in Dagestan's capital of Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea, where pro-Russian authorities are battling an increasingly deadly Islamist insurgency.

© 2010 AFP

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