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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suicide Bombing in Chechnya Injures 6

ROSTOV-ON-DON — Two Chechen militants blew themselves up in the town of Shali in Chechnya to escape capture, wounding three policemen and three civilians in the process, police said Friday.

It was the third suicide bombing in the past week in Chechnya and part of a rising wave of violence in the North Caucasus.

Police blockaded the two militants in a house in the town of Shali overnight, Chechen Interior Ministry spokesman Magomed Deniyev said. When police demanded that they give themselves up, the militants opened fire and then set off explosives attached to their bodies, he said.

Three policemen and three civilians were hospitalized with shrapnel wounds, the spokesman said.

A suicide bombing Tuesday at a gas station-carwash complex in the Shali region killed four Chechen police officers, and another four were killed last week by suicide bombers on bicycles.

The worst suicide bombing to hit the region in years occurred Aug. 17 in the neighboring republic of Ingushetia, when a van packed with explosives blew up a police station, killing at least 25 people.

In another North Caucasus republic, Dagestan, police said they killed three militants early Friday who had opened fire on a police post. The post in Makhachkala, the capital, was unmanned at the time, but police patrolling nearby tracked the militants to a house and surrounded them there, Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said.

Police, who were backed up by special forces and armored vehicles, exchanged fire with the militants for several hours before killing them, he said.

Separatist rebels and Russian troops fought two full-scale wars in Chechnya over the past 15 years. After a period of relative calm, Chechnya and other predominantly Muslim republics in southern Russia have seen a steady increase in attacks on police and soldiers.