Dagestan car bomb wounds top official, kills driver

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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 for national policy, religious and foreign affairs, was taken to hospital along with two bodyguards, also injured in the attack, Russian investigators 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."

Elsewhere in the North Caucasus, security forces killed a suspected rebel in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria during a clash near the village of Zayukovo, local police told the Itar-Tass agency.

They seized weapons, ammunition and a radio transmitter, he added.

Shootings and bomb attacks have become a near-daily occurrence in the North Caucasus, particularly in Dagestan and its capital Makhachkala, where the authorities are battling an increasingly deadly Islamist insurgency.

© 2010 AFP

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