|Dagestan’s president said security services have to step up their fight against ‘militants’ [AFP]|
A suicide car bomber has killed three soldiers and wounded 32 others in an attack on a military base in the Russian republic of Dagestan, government officials say.
The attack took place about 1am local time on Sunday (21:00 GMT Saturday) at the base in the city of Buinaksk, Vyacheslav Gasanov, a spokesman for Dagestan’s interior ministry, said.
The driver of a small Zhiguli car, packed with explosives, smashed through a gate of the base and headed for an area where soldiers are quartered in tents, Gasanov said.
But soldiers opened fire on him before he reached the centre of the base, he said.
The driver then drove the car into a military lorry before exploding it.
After the blast, a roadside bomb hit a car taking investigators to the scene, but there were no injuries reported in that explosion.
Magomedsalam Magomedov, Dagestan’s president, visited the scene of the attack and the wounded soldiers in hospitals.
“Today’s terrorist attack indicates that militants in the republic still have the power to conduct such treacherous attacks,” Magomedov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
Despite “several successful” operations against the fighters in the region, the country’s security services have to step up their efforts to fully stamp out the challenge, he said.
Dagestan is gripped by near-daily violence between security forces and fighters believed to be inspired by separatists in neighbouring Chechnya.