Barely has Russia started to recover from the shock of a twin suicide bombing attack on Moscow's metro Monday, March 29 that killed 39, than it was hit again on Wednesday, March 31, this time by another pair of suicide bombings in the southern Caucasus republic of Dagestan, which killed at least 11 people, newswires report.
The death toll was 12 dead with another 18 reported injured as of midday Moscow time. The first blast went off in the town of Kizlyar that is on the border with neighbouring Chechnya, a law enforcement source told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
He said at least one blast was triggered by a suicide bomber dressed as a policeman. The first blast occurred at 8:45am Moscow time [4:45am GMT], and the second came 20 minutes later. A local police source said the disguised suicide bomber approached police who were working at the site of the first explosion and blew himself up.
Like the blasts in Moscow, these were clearly intended to carry a political message and symbolise a strike at the central authorities. The explosions occurred some 300 metres from the buildings of the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service and a school. "According to preliminary information, a Niva car stuffed with explosives blew up. When police and emergencies services came to the site, a second blast went off," the source said.
Yesterday was a national day of mourning in Russia following the first terrorist attack on the metro system in six years. The last attack in the Russian capital happened in August 2004 at the Paveletskaya metro station and killed 41 and injured hundreds of people.
Dagestan is a southern republic on the shores of the Caspian Sea and in the epicentre of the unstable Caucasus region. While Chechnya has been relatively peaceful following the end of the second Chechen war, Dagestan has been unstable for years with bombings and shootings a regular occurrence. Neighbouring Ingushetia has experienced similar attacks. And Nalchik, the first major town in Russia proper in the region has been experiencing attacks involving dozens of people almost weekly.
The Moscow attacks are believed to have been committed by terrorists from Russia's North Caucasus region.
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