One dead, dozens wounded after double blast in Russia

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Scores of policemen and civilians were injured and one died after a double blast near regional interior ministry offices in Russia's southern city of Makhachkala, reports said Thursday.

The explosions rocked the capital of North Caucasus region of Dagestan after midnight local time within 40 metres of each other, an interior ministry representative told Interfax.

"A senior lieutenant in the police died, 44 policemen and 16 civilians were hospitalised," he said.

The first minor blast was planted near a car and did not cause any injuries, while the second bomb had up to 40 kilogrammes of TNT equivalent and was in a car 40 metres away.

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

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s, and the violence has since spread into the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

© 2011 AFP

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