Blast hits checkpoint in southern Russia - TASS

Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:11am EDT

MOSCOW, March 21 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded on Friday at a police checkpoint in Russia's restive southern province of Ingushetia bordering Chechnya but no one was hurt, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

It quoted local law enforcement officials as saying a second homemade bomb, made from a hand grenade and a mobile phone, was found after the blast near the checkpoint situated outside the village of Troitskaya.

A roadside bomb damaged two Russian armoured personnel carriers in Ingushetia on Wednesday.

Ingushetia, one of Russia's poorest regions, has seen a rise in violence, including attacks on police and the military.

Ingushi authorities blame Muslim radicals, both local and crossing from neighbouring Chechnya, for the attacks. Their opponents say the new bout of violence is a result of the local government's ineffective and repressive policies.

In Chechnya, which has been relatively calm in the past few years, nine people died late on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and separatist rebels. (Writing by Oleg Shchedrov, editing by Tim Pearce)



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