Two blasts rock Russia’s Caucasus region

Two blasts hit Russia’s Caucasus on Tuesday, one killing a policeman at a checkpoint and the other wounding about two dozen at a street cafe, in the latest attacks to rock the turbulent region.

In the first attack, a young man blew himself up near a checkpoint in the region of North Ossetia, killing himself and a policeman, officials said.

Hours later, at least 22 people were wounded in a suspected car-bomb explosion outside a cafe in the spa town of Pyatigorsk, popular with Russian holidaymakers, in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.

The Kremlin calls the Caucasus unrest its biggest domestic problem and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last month announced an ambitious drive to foster prosperity by enticing investors to the violence-torn region.

In North Ossetia an unidentified man walked up to the checkpoint close to the administrative border with neighbouring Ingushetia and detonated his charge, leaving one officer dead and wounding two others, Samir Sabatkoyev, spokesperson for the regional Interior Ministry, told Agence France-Presse.


“He detonated an unidentified explosive device,” Sabatkoyev said. “He blew himself up,” he added, noting it was “apparently” a suicide attack.

The two wounded policemen had “serious injuries”, added Maria Gatsoyeva, a spokesperson for regional investigators, speaking from the regional capital Vladikavkaz.

North Ossetia lies to the north of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, recognised by Russia as independent after the brief 2008 war with Georgia over its status.

The region is part of the country’s most volatile North Caucasus region, scene of the simmering guerrilla war between Russian forces and separatist rebels, and deadly attacks in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are a near-daily occurrence.

The explosion in Pyatigorsk struck at about 12.30pm GMT, the investigative committee of prosecutors said. Russian news agencies quoted the Emergencies Ministry as saying that 22 people were wounded.

Glass windows within a radius of 200m around the outdoor cafe were broken and cars parked by the cafe were damaged by the power of the blast.

“At first it was thought that it was a gas explosion but then it became clear that a car parked outside the cafe had exploded,” a local police source told ITAR-TASS.

“All the wounded were customers of the cafe,” the source added.

Pyatigorsk lies to the north of the most unstable mountainous regions of the Caucasus and is a genteel town normally untroubled by such violence.

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a full investigation into the incident, Russian news agencies said. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.

Leader’s principal aim to build IFP

Gravitas: Velenkosini Hlabisa brings his experience to his new post as leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police Minister Bheke Cele addresses Jeppestown

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown on Tuesday to speak to business owners and community leaders.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

See people as individual humans, not as a race

We need to ingrain values of equality in education, businesses, society broadly and religious groups to see people

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Traditional healers need new spaces

Proper facilities supported by well-researched cultural principles will go a long way to improving the image and perception of the practice of traditional medicine
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…