Two suicide bombers have killed at least 12 people in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region. The attacks occurred two days after at least 39 people were killed in dual suicide bombings in Moscow's metro system.
Officials say the first bombing happened in Kizlyar, Dagestan when police tried to stop a vehicle for traffic violations. Dagestan's interior minister said the second explosion occurred as residents and officials gathered at the scene of the first blast and another bomber dressed as a policeman walked up to the crowd.
Kizlyar's police chief was among those killed and other officers and investigators also died.
Russia's interior minister, Rashid Nurgaliyev, condemned the attacks.
He says the driver of the car broke the traffic rules and did not stop, but moved towards the city center. Traffic police colleagues followed the car, they had almost caught up with it and at that moment the explosion happened. Two colleagues of the police were killed and one is in the hospital in severe condition. Near the scene is a school, the city police department and the Federal Security Bureau.
No one person or group has taken responsibility for the Moscow bombings or the attacks in Dagestan. In January, Chechen leader Doku Umarov warned that attacks would not be limited to the North Caucasus region.
He says that Russians do not understand that today the war will come to their streets, their homes and their cities. He says that if they think that the war is happening only on their television screens in the far away Caucasus, that the war does not concern them, we plan to prove to them that the war will come to them in their homes. Umarov says for this reason the zone of military activity will be widened to cover the whole territory of Russia.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he thinks the same group may be responsible for the Moscow bombings and the attack in the North Caucasus region.
Monday, Mr. Putin pledged, in his words, to drag the terrorists from the sewer into broad daylight. He also said he was confident officials would catch who was responsible for Monday's attacks in Moscow.
Despite Mr. Putin's confidence, Muscovite Yekaterina Omelchkina says she is not so sure.
She says she does not think the authorities will ever know who is really responsible for the attacks and that she does not think officials will be able to prevent them in the future.
Russia's security forces suggested that Islamist insurgents from the North Caucasus could be responsible for the attacks on Moscow's metro. The region, which includes Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, sees near daily attacks against local policemen and officials. Many analysts describe the violence as a civil war between Islamist insurgents and the Kremlin-backed administrations of the Caucuses region.