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5 Russian Soldiers Killed in Dagestan Suicide Bombing

A suicide bomber plowed his explosive-filled car into a military base in the Russian republic of Dagestan, but was stopped before he could reach an area where many soldiers were sleeping.

A Defense Ministry spokesman in Moscow says Sunday's attack killed three soldiers and wounded more than 30. Earlier, officials in Dagestan said at least five soldiers had been killed.

Both accounts said several of the wounded were in critical condition. Officials in Moscow said some of the injured soldiers were being flown to a military hospital in Rostov-on-Don to receive specialized treatment.

Officials in Dagestan said the attacker was aiming for an area where soldiers are housed in tents, but that some soldiers forced the bomber to crash into a military truck instead.

Officials said a separate bomb exploded near a car carrying investigators to the base.

Sunday's attack comes one day after militants tried to assassinate Dagestan's minister for ethnic policy, information and foreign relations.

Police said Bekmurza Bekmurzayev was being driven to work Saturday when a bomb planted underneath his car exploded.

Bekmurzayev survived the blast, which killed his driver and wounded a bodyguard.

Dagestan is part of Russia's North Caucasus, a mostly-Muslim region where shootings and bombings are reported almost daily. Russian authorities blame most of the attacks on Islamic militants. Some of the violence also is connected to organized crime and clan rivalries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.