12 Killed In Russia’s Dagestan Bombing

At least 12 people, including a top local police official, have been killed by two suicide bombings in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

A car bomb was detonated at about 0830 (0430 GMT) outside the offices of the local interior ministry and the FSB security agency in the town of Kizlyar.

Another bomber then blew himself up 20 minutes later as a crowd gathered.

Russia is on alert after double suicide bombings on the Moscow Metro on Monday morning, which left 39 people dead.

First funerals of some of the victims took place on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on the security forces to “scrape from the sewers” those responsible for the Moscow attacks. Investigators say they believe the bombers were linked to militants in the North Caucasus.

At a government meeting following Wednesday’s bombings in Dagestan, Mr Putin condemned the “terrorist act” and said he did “not rule out that it is one and the same gang at work”.

President Dmitry Medvedev said the two sets of bombings were “links of the same chain”.

A militant Islamist group led by a Chechen rebel on Wednesday denied responsibility for the blasts.

“We did not carry out the attack in Moscow, and we don’t know who did it,” Shemsettin Batukaev, a spokesman for the Caucasus Emirate organisation led by Doku Umarov, told Reuters by telephone in Turkey.

The spokesman added that the group had planned attacks on economic targets inside Russia, but not against civilians.

Last month, Doku Umarov warned that his fighters’ “zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia… the war is coming to their cities”.

The BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow says that although no-one has yet claimed responsibility for either of this week’s attacks, both bear the hallmarks of previous suicide bombings carried out by Islamist militants from the North Caucasus.