MOSCOW (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed two people and injured around 20 outside a police station in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Dagestan, a regional Interior Ministry spokesman said.
Insurgents wage almost daily violence in the North Caucasus region to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim region which abuts the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Dagestan, which sits on the Caspian Sea, nearly 600 km from Sochi, has become the focal point of violence that rights groups say is fanned by a combination of radical Islam and anger with corruption and human rights abuses.
The regional Interior Ministry spokesman said six police officers were injured, one of whom was in critical condition.
“The car exploded at the gates of the regional police station and, as a result of the explosion, nearby buildings collapsed ... Twenty people have been taken to hospital,” Interfax reported him as saying without identifying him by name.
The national anti-terrorism agency confirmed the bombing and said law enforcement agencies were being sent to the site. It gave no further details.
President Vladimir Putin has made the Sochi games a priority to showcase Russia’s modern face and called on all law enforcement agencies to ensure safety there.
Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by Alison Williams