Casualties Grow in N. Caucasus Twin Blasts
The death toll in Thursday evening`s twin blasts in Makhachkala stands at 13 people, with about 100 injured, a source in the Republic of Dagestan`s law enforcement services said, according to RIA Novosti.The thirteen dead include seven police officers, two firefighters and two local residents. 83 people were hospitalized, while 26 received medical treatment on site.
According to preliminary information, a suicide bomber blew his Lada Priora car up when it was stopped for a security check at a police post on the outskirts of the city. At approximately 10.45 pm local time, or about half an hour after the first blast, the second bomb went off in a vehicle parked nearby.
The second blast took place when a vehicle with emergency responders had arrived at the scene. According to the republic’s interior ministry, the blasts claimed the lives of three rescuers and six police officers, but casualty reports are still being verified.
The power of the explosive devices was equivalent to 30 kg and 50 kg of TNT, a spokesman for Russia`s national anti-terrorism committee (NAC) Nikolai Sintsov said.
The explosions could be heard throughout the city, located in Russia`s volatile North Caucasus. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are still frequent in the region more than a decade after the end of a war against separatists in Russia`s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
A law enforcement said that the twin blasts are likely to be qualified as a terrorist attack.
The republic’s head, Magomedsalam Magomedov, had to cut short his working visit to Moscow and is urgently returning to the republic.