Four people killed in Russian Caucasus: officials

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Two blasts and a shooting in Russia's turbulent North Caucasus region killed four people and injured five, officials said Thursday.

The local police chief in Baksan, a town in Kabardino-Balkaria, died when unidentified assailants attacked his car on Wednesday evening.

"50-year-old colonel Muaed Sizhazhev was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car at 21:20 (1730GMT)," said a spokeswoman in the regional interior ministry.

Sizhazhev headed the Baksan district police operations department. He was coming home in his work car and died on the spot.

In a Dagestani town of Khasavyurt, a blast killed a lieutenant colonel with the FSB security service, reports said. "An explosive detonated as the FSB officer passed it in his jeep," a spokesman for the regional investigative committee told RIA Novosti.

The officer's family was also in the car, and his four female family members have been hospitalised, the report said.

A blast killed another two people in Ingushetia early Thursday, regional officials said. The explosion occurred in a residential house on the outskirts of regional capital Nazran.

"Two people died, one is injured," a source in the regional interior ministry told AFP declining to be named. "According to preliminary findings it was an explosive device."

The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the North Caucasus since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, waging two wars against separatists there.

Although the second war ended in 2000, the unrest has increasingly been spreading across the Caucasus, with nearly daily attacks targeting security officials, religious leaders, and civilians.

© 2011 AFP

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