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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

10 Troops Killed in Dagestan Blast

At least 10 Interior Ministry Troops were killed on Friday afternoon when a radio-controlled bomb exploded outside a banya in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala.

An Islamic group connected to Chechnya's separatists, Islamic Jamaat of Dagestan Shariat, also known as Shariah Jamaat, posted an Internet message on Saturday claiming responsibility for the attack.

The bombing was the most lethal attack on federal troops this year, and it came during an increase in the number of attacks and terrorist acts in Dagestan. The blast wounded 14 other Interior Ministry soldiers and 13 civilians, many severely, said Habib Magomedov, a spokesman for the Dagestani Interior Ministry.

The shrapnel-laden explosive was placed outside a banya almost exactly where the Russian vehicles later parked. It was detonated as a convoy of three military trucks pulled in, Magomedov said.

The Dagestani Interior Ministry said the blast was equivalent to that produced by about 10 kilograms of TNT.

Shariah Jamaat vowed on Saturday to conduct more attacks and said "an invasion group" had been sent to Moscow to carry out sabotage operations under a code name it described as "stab pig's heart."

Shariah Jamaat is an offshoot of the cadres of the Islamic guerrillas and terrorists operating in Chechnya, and it suggested in its statement that it was following the orders of Abdul Khalim Saidullayev, the leader of Chechnya's underground rebel government, to "transfer combat actions to the territory of Russia."

The group has sworn allegiance to Chechnya's separatist leaders in the past.

The veracity of the latest statement could not be immediately confirmed. It appeared on Kavkaz Center, a separatist web site that often receives statements and video from Chechnya's guerrillas and terrorists.

With its mixed bitterness and bravado, the new statement had the feel of many previous postings, using Islamic references but making clear that Shariah Jamaat is also driven by revenge; a powerful factor among clans in the Caucasus.

The statement vowed retribution against Russian families for the actions of federal soldiers and police in the region.

"If it is necessary we shall attack you and destroy you with your children and wives, like you attack us and kill ours," it said.

Violence against the authorities and prominent Dagestanis has become routine, with as many as 50 police officers or soldiers killed this year and many more wounded in attacks on cars, trucks, trains, offices and at least one bus.

Two bombs struck the police on June 25, and another derailed a freight train on the same day. A well-known political analyst and journalist, Magomedzagid Varisov, was gunned down Tuesday.