"The atmosphere is very uneasy... It will be controlled by law enforcement agencies," he said.

Southern Russia's Caucasus region has experienced a rise in the number of bombings and armed attacks recently after several years of calm that followed two separatist wars in Chechnya, Ingushetia's neighbouring region.

Yevkurov and Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya, have warned Dmitry Medvedev, the president, that the separatist violence is widespread and they are struggling to contain it.

Last month, at least 21 people died in an attack on a police station in Ingushetia, and in June a suicide bomber almost killed the region's president.

Regional leaders have claimed that the attacks are the work of Islamist separatist fighters.