Blasts Kill 6, Injure 60 in Makhachkala

A police officer standing guard on Thursday next to a car torn apart by an explosion in the Dagestani capital. Ilyas Hadzhi

Six people were killed and at least 60 injured when three car bombs exploded in the capital of Dagestan, news reports said Thursday.

The first bomb was detonated in Makhachkala on Wednesday evening, killing at least four people and injuring five passers-by, a city police source said on condition of anonymity.

Three of the killed victims were passengers. The source said they were apparently transporting an explosive device and that guns, grenades and ammunition were found in the vehicle.

Two more car bombs exploded after midnight, killing one policeman and a civilian, the source said.

The debris of two cars lay crumpled on a main thoroughfare, where blood was pooled near a row of shattered and blackened stores and cafes, state television showed.

At least 60 people, including 40 police officers, were injured in the attacks, which targeted the regional office of the traffic police and the Interior Ministry, a source at a local hospital told Interfax.

In a separate incident, unidentified men attacked the car of the local police head in the Dagestani town of Buinaksk, Magomed Nabiadelkhanov, shooting it up with automatic rifles and a machine gun, Interfax said.

The official escaped unharmed, but two of his guards were shot dead.

Police were battling on Thursday afternoon a group of rebels suspected of staging the attacks, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, Interfax reported. It said the rebels were blocked in a house in the village of Novo-Kuli, but did not specify how many there were.

(MT, Reuters)

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