Suicide attacker rams police troops in Dagestan

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A suicide attacker rammed police lines in Dagestan, wounding around 30 troops in the ensuing car blast, in a bid to break through to the scene of the clash between police and suspected guerrillas, interior ministry officials said early Saturday.

"According to preliminary data, the terrorist attempted to break through onto the scene of the special operation, but was stopped by police and activated the explosive device," a local interior ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Prior to the attack, police managed to kill two suspected guerrilla and detain one more, but "two policemen were killed and several others were wounded while trying to save people's lives," officials said.

Russia has in recent years been fighting an increasingly deadly Islamist-fuelled insurgency in the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia which has claimed scores of lives annually.

The situation has worsened considerably in Dagestan in the last months and three soldiers were killed earlier this month when a suicide bomber rammed a Russian military base in the region.

On Thursday a suicide bomber killed 17 and wounded at least 150 in an attack on a market in North Ossetia, the only majority Christian region in the Russian Caucasus.

© 2010 AFP

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