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`Eight dead` in blast in Russia`s Dagestan

Last Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 16:21

Moscow: Eight people were killed on Thursday in a bomb attack in Russia`s southern region of Dagestan, the latest unrest in the troubled North Caucasus, officials said.

"At around 10:30 (0630 GMT), an explosive device went off as repair workers drove by in a vehicle," the investigative committee of Russian prosecutors said in a statement.

"As a result, eight people died and four police officers escorting the workers were wounded."

The victims were workers who were sent to fix a cell phone mast that had been blown up the previous day by unidentified attackers in the district of Sergokalinsk, investigators said.

"Police were sent to the scene and a shootout is currently in progress with the attackers," a spokesman for the local branch of the Federal Security Service said.

A group of investigators had set off for the scene and information on the dead and wounded was being checked, the investigative committee said.

The workers from the republic`s radio and television broadcasting centre may have been lured into an ambush by rebels and blown up by a landmine, Russian NTV television reported.

The police wounded included the commander of the republic`s riot police, ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

The local pro-Kremlin authorities in Dagestan and other North Caucasus regions are battling to defeat an Islamist insurgency that has already left scores of civilians and police dead.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 16:21
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