MOSCOW/MAKHACHKALA, May 1 (RIA Novosti) – Two teenagers were killed Wednesday by a blast in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan after they picked up a package loaded with explosives, local police said.
Two more people were hospitalized with injuries from the blast, a police spokesman said. He denied earlier reports that a third victim died of injuries in the hospital.
The bomb, equivalent to two kilograms of TNT, was left by the roadside near a market in the center of republican capital Makhachkala, police said.
Unidentified attackers pelted a police car with bullets hours earlier in the city of Buinaksk, 48 kilometers southwest of Makhachkala, killing three and injuring two. Police did not say whether it considered the attacks to be linked.
Dagestan became the main hotbed of the North Caucasus insurgency after the Islamic militants were forced out of neighboring Chechnya. Terrorist activity usually intensifies in the region between spring and fall, when weather conditions in the mountains are more favorable.
(The headline and the text of the story were changed from an earlier version to reflect updated casualties information.)
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).