At least eight killed in southern Russia car blasts: Report

AFP , Monday 20 May 2013

At least eight die as twin bombs explode outside court building in Dagestan, Russia

At least eight people were killed Monday in twin car blasts outside a court building in the southern Russian city of Makhachkala in the restless region of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

"Within the space of a few minutes, two cars blew up," the Interfax news agency quoted a local investigative committee official as saying. "At least eight people died. The number of people injured is being checked."

The report added that at least two dozen cars were damaged by shrapnel.

Interfax said the second blast went off after law enforcement officials had arrived on the scene to investigate the first explosion.

The blasts happened within 15 minutes of each other outside a building used by court bailiffs.

The Caspian Sea republic of Dagestan is one of Russia's most violent regions. It is home to the parents of the Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The predominantly Muslim republic suffers from poverty and well-organised crime syndicates as well as an influx of armed guerrillas from the neighbouring republic of Chechnya.

War-wrecked Chechnya fought two brutal post-Soviet wars against federal troops and has now been placed under Moscow's control with the help of iron-fisted ruler Ramzan Kadyrov.

But Moscow has struggled to exert its influence on Dagestan and analysts believe that its local leadership remains weak.

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