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25 May, 2013 08:27

Suicide bombing strikes near Interior Ministry in southern Russia's Dagestan

A suicide bombing struck near a building of the Russian Interior Affairs Ministry in Dagestan, North Caucasus on Saturday, injuring 13 people, including two children, officials said.

The suicide bomber, reportedly female, died on the spot, with five police officers and eight civilians receiving injuries in the attack.

They were taken to hospitals across the city of Makhachkala, where one of the victims, a woman, passed away due to receiving heavy shrapnel wounds.

According to the Interior Ministry, two police officers, who were the closest to the suicide bomber, remain in critical condition.

A preliminary investigation identified the attacker as Madina Aliyeva, a missing person who was previously married to two Islamist militants.

Police said Aliyeva carried the bomb in a bag, and “it was detonated by the terrorist herself”.

The bomb, which consisted of an F1 hand grenade and five grenade shells filled with striking elements, had an explosive force equal to 500 grams of TNT.

The blast was reportedly so powerful that a shockwave was felt a great distance from the explosion. Police are currently searching the area for more explosives, fearing a second blast might follow.

On May 20, two bombs were detonated outside the headquarters of the court bailiff in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala, killing four people and injuring 46.

The second blast in Makhachkala was more powerful than the first, coming after police arrived at the scene of the initial explosion.

Such double blasts are frequently used by terrorists in the North Caucasus to target police and raise the death tolls of their attacks.