Car bomb kills two policemen in Russia’s restive Dagestan
Children walk in a street in Novosasitli village in the Dagestan region, September 28, 2013. Moscow now fears that hundreds of Russian-born militants it says are fighting in Syria will return experienced in warfare to join an insurgency in Dagestan and its other North Caucasus provinces by militants fighting for an Islamic state. Picture taken September 28, 2013. REUTERS/Ilyas Hajji

MOSCOW: A car bomb killed two policemen at a traffic checkpoint in Russia’s volatile republic of Dagestan on Monday, local media reported, quoting law enforcement officers, and some security officials blamed a suicide bomber from a local extremist group.

“A suicide terrorist was at the wheel. He blew himself up,” RIA news agency quoted an unnamed Dagestani security source as saying. “According to preliminary data, militants from ‘the southern terrorist group’ were behind the explosion.”

The explosion, which also wounded several policemen and civilians, hit the police post near the town of Derbent in Dagestan’s southeast.

Dagestan neighbors Chechnya, where Moscow fought two bloody wars against Islamist separatist fighters before finally regaining control of the region.

Dagestan, a patchwork of ethnicities and languages, has become a hub of militant Islam in the North Caucasus and some militant groups have sworn allegiance to Islamic State.

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