MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two senior Russian officers were killed when their armored vehicle was hit by explosives in Russia’s restive Chechnya on Sunday, Interfax news agency reported, two days after a gun attack in a nearby province.
Russian security officials have said they expect a rise in rebel attacks after Russia launched a military incursion into Georgia, an ex-Soviet republic neighboring Chechnya, to crush its attempt to retake the breakaway region of South Ossetia.
In the latest incident, a major and a lieutenant-colonel died of their wounds and two other officers were injured after a bomb and gun attack on their three-vehicle convoy near the village of Agishty.
Gunman also fired on the house of a member of Russia’s upper parliamentary chamber in southern Ingushetia province, but no one was injured, Interfax reported on Sunday.
The violence came a day before Russian lawmakers were due to meet in Moscow to consider supporting the independence claims of Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
On Friday, Gunmen killed one soldier and wounded three in an attack on a Russian army convoy in Ingushetia Russian news agencies reported.
Attacks on police, officials and troops are not unusual in Russia’s Northern Caucasus, poor regions adjoining the Georgian border.
Officials blame the attacks on criminal elements and Muslim rebels, while their critics say poverty, corruption and widespread abuse of power keep social tensions high.
Reporting by Conor Sweeney; Editing by Giles Elgood