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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suicide Bomber Kills 2 Police in Chechnya

A suicide bomber killed two police officers Friday morning near the Chechen Interior Ministry, authorities said.
 
The bomber detonated the explosives near a police checkpoint several hundred meters from the ministry branch's headquarters in the Chechen capital of Grozny, regional Interior Ministry chief Ruslan Alkhanov told Interfax.
 
The attack comes a month after the Kremlin declared the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya over, effectively ending a security regime imposed in September 1999 when federal troops poured into the North Caucasus republic and quashed separatists.
 
Armed insurgents in the North Caucasus have largely refrained from carrying out suicide attacks in recent years, a tactic they employed with great frequency in the first half of this decade.
 
Two unidentified men attempted to enter the territory of the Chechen Interior Minister but were stopped by police who asked for identification, Alkhanov said. In response, one of the men approached a policeman and
detonated explosives, he said.
 
The blast killed two police officers and injured several other people, Alkhanov said.
 
Police found identification in the pocket of the suicide bomber but had yet to verify whether it belonged to the attacker, Alkhanov said.
 
The middle-aged man accompanying the bomber was also killed in the blast, a Chechen Interior Ministry source told Itar-Tass.
 
Repeated calls to the Chechen Interior Ministry's press office went unanswered Friday.
 
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Friday praised the officers killed in the attack for their "courage" and for preventing more deaths, according to comments posted on his government's web site.
 
The officers will be posthumously decorated with medals, while their families would receive financial aid, Kadyrov said.
 
He called on terrorists planning bombings in the republic to turn themselves in to police. "Otherwise they face a very sad ending," Kadyrov said.
 
Insurgents had not orchestrated suicide bombings in Russia for several years before "returning to this tactic" last year, said Andrei Soldatov, a security and terrorism analyst and founder of the Agentura think tank.
 
In September, a suicide bomber attacked the motorcade of Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov in the Ingush city of Nazran. Medov was unharmed, while five bystanders were wounded.