More Islamophobia in the Caucasus. “Explosions in Dagestan Kill 13, Wound More Than 120,” from The Moscow Times, May 4 (thanks to David):
Two explosions went off at a traffic post in Makhachkala late Thursday, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 120 in what police have unequivocally ruled a terrorist attack.
A suicide bomber heading out of Makhachkala, the regional capital of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, detonated the first explosive at the Alaska-30 traffic station around 10:20 p.m. The exact sequence of events is unclear, with one version of the story that the terrorists rammed the checkpoint building with their car and setting off the explosions, and another that they detonated the bomb after police became suspicious of the vehicle and decided to check it as it was leaving the city.
As first responders began to arrive on the scene about twenty minutes later, a second more powerful explosive was detonated in a Gazel, a type of van commonly used for public transport, which was already parked near the station.
Police said the first explosion was equivalent to 30 kg of TNT, while the second was equivalent to 50 kg. The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the bombs were improvised explosive devices stuffed with construction dowels three to five cm long.
The explosions were powerful enough to send the engine of the first car, a Lada Priora, 200 meters from the scene of the explosion, and at least 20 nearby cars caught fire, Interfax reported. Investigators have also found fragments of bodies that could belong to the attackers, including a man’s foot and pieces of a female body, police source told Interfax.
At least 13 have died so far. Seven of those who died were policemen, and three were emergency responders. An additional 122 people were injured, with at least 63 of the 87 victims in the hospital in critical or highly critical condition. The other injured victims have already been released from the hospital….
Armed conflicts between militants and security forces are frequent in the republics of the North Caucasus. In early March, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a traffic post about 40 kilometers south of Makhachkala, killing five cops.