Russia to Step Up North Caucasus Security After Blasts

Russia will beef up security measures in its volatile North Caucasus region during upcoming World War Two Victory Day celebrations, the country’s Interior Ministry chief said on Friday, less than 24 hours after a deadly twin suicide bombing there.

“Take all additional measures to prevent terrorism and acts of sabotage over the holiday period,” ministry head Rashid Nurgaliyev told the region’s police chief in Makhachkala, the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

Thirteen people were killed and over 100 injured when two blasts ripped through a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Makhachkala on Friday.

Nurgaliyev also said the people responsible for the attacks were “inhuman and incapable of returning to civilian life.” No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Dagestan has become the epicenter of the Islamist insurgency raging in Russia’s North Caucasus, which includes Chechnya, site of two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The blasts came as Russia gears up for May 9 Victory Day celebrations, marked with nationwide military parades and other events.

A 2004 Victory Day parade blast tore through a stadium in Grozny, capital of Chechnya, killing the republic’s Kremlin-backed leader Akhmad Kadyrov and up to 30 other people.

The blasts also occurred just three days before Vladimir Putin, whose 2000 presidential election victory was widely credited to his tough stance on Chechnya, is to be inaugurated for a third term in the Kremlin.

Islamic insurgents claimed responsibility for a suicide blast at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport that killed 37 people in January 2011 and twin bombings that killed 40 people on the Moscow metro in 2010.

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