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15 May, 2009 10:04

Suicide bomber kills two policemen and civilian in Chechnya

Two police officers and one civilian have been killed in Chechen capital Grozny by a suicide bomber near the Russian republic’s Interior Ministry building.

The man tried to enter the ministry on Friday morning, but was stopped by guards at a checkpoint several hundred meters from the main entrance.

When the man realised he wasn’t going to be allowed through without permission, he ran to one of the guards, grabbed onto him and set off the bomb. The bomber and two policemen were killed while five other people were wounded.

The man reportedly looked old, news agency ITAR-TASS says, which made the guards allow him come close enough for an attack.

Another man at the crime scene attempted to pass the checkpoint. The man was a taxi driver who gave the terrorist a ride to the scene and walked him to the checkpoint. The driver was also killed in the blast.

Police officials suggest that the driver wasn’t aware of his passenger’s intentions.

Investigators found the driver’s ID on the body of the dead bomber. They also have CCTV video footage from the checkpoint’s entrance that might help identifying the terrorist.

Commenting on the incident, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov praised the guards who died in the explosion, saying their actions “prevented numerous deaths among civilians and law enforcement officers.”

The families of the two killed policemen will receive all the necessary support from the government, he said.

“Those behind this act of terror wanted wide publicity, wanted many victims, wanted to instill fear and uncertainty in the hearts of the people. They failed,” Kadyrov said.

The Chechen president suggested the bomber may have been unaware of the explosives he was carrying. The bomb could have been triggered from a distance with a radio signal, he said.