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Four killed, 3 wounded in Dagestan explosion

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Four people have been killed and three more wounded and hospitalised in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt as a result of a car bomb explosion.

An official of the Dagestani Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday that the “incident took place on Wednesday at 22:10 MSK on the 739th kilometre of the Kavkaz federal highway at the exit from Khasavyurt.”

According to the source, an unknown man parked a car bomb near the “Caravan” roadside cafe. The explosion partly destroyed the cafe’s one-storey building. According to investigators, the exploded car was stolen and was being sought.

A criminal case under several articles of the RF Criminal Code, including the “act of terrorism and illegal making of explosives and explosive devices” was opened.

In another incident that took place in Khasavyurt on the night of January 20, unknown perpetrators set off an improvised explosive device near the front door of the “Caravan” supermarket in Toturbiyev Street. Nobody was hurt. The shop building was severely damaged.

Dagestan’s police said that “it is not the first time that criminals explode or set on fire shops of businessmen, who refuse to pay them a “tribute.” The leader of the local bandit underground and his several hands, who were engaged in extorting money from businessmen and committed other serious crimes against local residents and law enforcement officers, has recently been liquidated in a special police operation in Khasavyurt.

Since 2000, Dagestan has been the venue of a low-level guerrilla war, bleeding over from Chechnya; the fighting has claimed the lives of hundreds of federal servicemen and officials – mostly members of local police forces – as well as many Dagestani national rebels and civilians.

More recently, among other incidents: On May 15, 2008, two MVD officers were killed and one police officer heavily wounded during an ambush on their vehicle in Gubden. On September 8, 2008, Abdul Madzhid and several rebels were killed in an ambush by Russian special forces. On October 21, 2008, rebels ambushed a Russian military truck, killing five troops and wounding nine others. On January 6, 2010, a suicide bomber attempted to blow up a police station in Makhachkala, killing six officers and wounding 14 others. On March 31, 2010, 12 people were killed and 18 wounded by two suicide bombings in the town of Kizlyar outside the offices of the local interior ministry and the FSB security agency. The second bomb went off twenty minutes after the first, as a crowd had gathered. In the early hours of the next morning two people died as a bomb went off in their car, apparently prematurely, near the village of Toturbiikala.

On July 15, 2010, Pastor Artur Suleimanov, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was murdered by a gunman. The pastor was killed in his car as he was leaving the Hosanna House of Prayer in Makhachkala, Dagestan in the North Caucasus region, according to a religious persecution watchdog group, Voice of the Martyrs, report. Pastor Suleimanov’s church is one of the largest Protestant churches in Dagestan. Christians in the Russian Republic of Dagestan borders Chechnya face harassment and intimidation from various groups. Pastor Suleimanov’s life had been threatened on several previous occasions.

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