One killed, 60 injured in twin Russian blasts

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Twin explosions killed a police officer and injured dozens of others as well as civilians in Russia’s southern city of Makhachkalay, officials said Thursday. The explosions within metres of each other rocked the capital of the North Caucasus region of Dagestan after midnight and went off about 500 metres from the offices of Dagestan’s interior ministry, a representative of Makhachkala police told AFP. “A police lieutenant died, and about 60 people went to the hospital,” he said. “The first blast was to attract attention, and the second was directed (at people) as the area was being closed off,” he added.
The second bomb was planted in a car and the blast was equivalent to about 35 kilogrammes (80 pounds) of TNT, he said. The latest blasts followed an explosion in the same city late Wednesday when three people were killed in a car while apparently transporting a bomb, wounding several bystanders. 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.