MAKHACHKALA, Russia — A suicide bomber blew herself up while trying to enter a police station in the southern Dagestan region yesterday, killing a soldier and wounding six others, officials said.
The bomber was stopped by a military patrol as she tried to enter the building in the central village of Gubden, said Vyacheslav Gasanov, regional police spokesman. The victims were soldiers who guard the police station, and those wounded in the attack have been hospitalized, Gasanov said.
Dagestan is the largest and most ethnically diverse province of the predominantly Muslim Northern Caucasus region and is increasingly beset by almost daily violence that stems from two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.
Also yesterday, a suspected Islamic militant was killed in a shootout with security forces outside Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital. Gasanov said two policemen were wounded.
Islamic militants have stepped up their attacks on military, police and civilians both in Northern Caucasus provinces and in central Russia.
A 20-year-old suicide bomber from Ingushetia, another province that borders Chechnya, blew himself up at Moscow’s busiest airport last month, killing 36 and wounding more than 180 people.
Human rights groups and critics of Kremlin-appointed provincial governments say that federal forces and police trigger the violence with extrajudicial killings, arrests, kidnappings, and other abuses.
Some government critics assert that young men have no other options but to join the insurgents because corrupt officials blacklist their families to extort bribes.