UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republic of Dagestan which killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100 others on Thursday.
Ban condemns the attacks “in the strongest terms,” his spokesman said in a statement issued on Friday.
“He expresses his deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of these heinous acts and their families, and to the people and government of the Russian Federation,” the statement said.
A suicide bomber blew up his car after it was stopped for a security check at a police post on the outskirts of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, early on Thursday.
About half an hour after the first blast, a second bomb containing the equivalent of 50 kg of TNT, went off in a light van parked nearby.
A total of 13 people, including seven police officers, are believed to have been killed in the blasts, but casualty reports are still being verified, the republic’s Interior Ministry said.
Of those injured, 83 people have been hospitalized.
Dagestan’s Rapid Reaction Staff said on Friday it had established the identities of four men behind the blasts. One of them, identified as Gussein Mamayev, born in 1988, is believe to be the ringleader of the so-called Makhachkala criminal gang.
Investigators are trying to find out whether the blasts were meant to go off near the police station or whether the suspects had hoped to smuggle the bombs past the police checkpoint.