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1 Jul, 2009 09:54

Two killed in police station attacks

Two people have been killed in an attack by militants at a police station in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan. The assault happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when gunmen opened fire on the building.

The Interior Ministry says one policeman was shot dead.

The Derbent city police station was fired upon on Tuesday, an attack which killed a police sergeant and injured two more policemen, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax Wednesday. According to Markin, the attackers fired automatic weapons.

Several hours later, a dozen more people were injured, including civilians and law enforcement officials, when a car bomb went off outside the same station. As investigators were examining the scene, “an unidentified person set off an explosive device planted in a car parked on the roadside in front of the police station,” Markin said.

A body was later found in the boot of the car, bringing the death toll to two.

“We assume that he [the driver] refused to drive the car toward the building, put up resistance and was killed by terrorists,” said Dagestani Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky.

A search for the attackers is underway, and a criminal case has been launched.

This is the latest in a spate of attacks in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

Last month Dagestan's interior minister was murdered, and the President of the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was severely wounded in a suicide bombing.