ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia -- Two bombs exploded yesterday on a roadside in Ingushetia, wounding the southern Russian republic's prime minister in an apparent assassination attempt, officials said -- the latest sign of growing violence across the heavily Muslim North Caucasus region.
Ingushetia Prime Minister Ibragim Malsagov was hospitalized after the attack in Nazran, but he is expected to survive, said Fyodor Shcherbakov, an aide to the Kremlin envoy to the region.
Malsagov's driver was killed and two other people were wounded, said Nikolai Ivashkevich, a spokesman for the southern regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry. Malsagov, the second highest-ranking official in the region, was injured in the hand and the leg.
The top police official in Ingushetia, Interior Minister Beslan Khamkhoyev, said two explosives placed about 10 to 15 yards apart detonated within 10 seconds, the Interfax news agency reported. The attack occurred near one of the city's outdoor markets.
From his hospital bed, Malsagov told state-run Channel One television he had been traveling on a road near his home in the middle of a three-car motorcade when there was an explosion in front of the first vehicle.
''Naturally, I automatically jumped out to run over and see what happened, and then there was another explosion," Malsagov said.
Nazran is the main city in the Ingushetia region, which has suffered frequent spillover violence from neighboring Chechnya to the east, as well as attacks by its own militants and criminal gangs.