MAKHACHKALA, Russia — Two car bombs killed a Russian policeman and wounded 60 other people in the capital of the violence-plagued republic of Dagestan early Thursday, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.
On Wednesday night, a few hours before the car bombs, four suspected Islamic insurgents died when explosives they were carrying in their car detonated on a capital street, Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said.
Gasanov said the first car-bomb was equivalent to about three kilograms (seven pounds) of TNT. When police rushed to the scene of that explosion, a blast about 12 times more powerful went off, he said.
Of the 60 people injured in the blasts, 44 were police officers, Gasanov said.
Dagestan regularly sees attacks connected both to criminal gangs and to Islamic insurgents. The insurgency has its roots in neighboring Chechnya, where Russian troops fought two full-scale wars against rebels since 1994.
Although the insurgency in Chechnya has died down in recent years, Dagestan is hit by frequent attacks or clashes between fighters and police. Insurgent activity has also spread to other republics of the predominantly Muslim Caucasus region.