Suicide Bomber Injures at Least 18 in Dagestan

Suicide Bomber Injures at Least 18 in Dagestan

Published: May 29, 2013 (Issue # 1761)

MAKHACHKALA — A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the southern Russian region of Dagestan on Saturday, killing one and injuring at least 18, including two children and five police officers, authorities said. The attacker was later identified as a widow of two Islamic radicals killed by security forces.

It was the first suicide bombing in Dagestan since the Boston Marathon attacks last month.

In Saturday’s attack, the bomber detonated an explosives-laden belt in the central square in the provincial capital, Makhachkala, Dagestan’s police spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said.

The woman was identified as Madina Aliyeva, 25, who married to an Islamist, killed in 2009, and then wedded another Islamic radical, gunned down last year, police spokeswoman Fatina Ubaidatova said.

Since 2000, at least two dozen women, most of them from the Caucasus, have carried out suicide bombings in Russian cities and aboard trains and planes. All were linked to an Islamic insurgency that spread throughout Dagestan and the predominantly Muslim Caucasus region after two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.

The bombers are often called “black widows” in Russia because many are the widows, or other relatives, of militants killed by security forces. Islamic militants are believed to convince “black widows” that a suicide bombing will reunite them with their dead relatives beyond the grave.

Police said two of the people injured in the attack were in critical condition. There were no details about the injured children.

This week, a double explosion in Makhachkala killed four civilians and left 44 injured, while three security officers and three suspected militants have been killed in other incidents. One of the devices was in a parked car, and the other was placed in a trash bin.

In the wake of Saturday’s bombing, acting Dagestani President Ramazan Abdulatipov linked terrorist acts in the republic to “corruption among the local authorities that has been building up for many years,” Interfax reported Sunday.

At the same time, he expressed confidence that extremism can be defeated in the republic, noting that the majority of local residents don’t support the rebels.

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