At least 19 people have been killed and more than 50 others wounded in a suspected
suicide attack on a police station in Russia's southern Ingushetia region.
The bombing is the latest attack in the mainly Muslim region, which has seen an upsurge
in violence in the past few months.
The blast occurred after a truck broke through security gates at police headquarters in
Nazran, Ingushetia's largest city, as officers gathered for a morning check on Monday,
Russian agencies reported.
"Practically all the cars and buildings in the yard of the police headquarters were completely destroyed," the Interfax news agency quoted a law-enforcement source as saying.
The explosion killed and wounded police officers in the compound and local residents in homes nearby, officials said.
At least nine children were said to be among the wounded, Svetlana Gorbakova of the regional branch of the Russian prosecutor general's office said.
Rise in violence
Kremlin authorities have largely blamed Islamist fighters for recent violence in the region, which lies in Russia's volatile North Caucasus.
Shaun Walker, Moscow correspondent for the UK's Independent newspaper, told Al Jazeera that attacks in the region appeared to becoming "nastier and more frequent".
"Although there is a lot of violence in this region on a regular basis, it's still relatively unusual to have suicide bombings and a bombing of this scale," he said, adding Monday's attack appeared to be the work of the "local Islamic insurgency".
"These attacks have been happening with alarming regularity. What we've seen in the last week or so is a series of slightly larger scale attacks. Taken overall it is a really quite a scary picture for Russia and the leaders of these republics.
"In a sense it does seem a little bit like the Caucasus is spiralling out of control."
Last week, Ruslan Amerkhanov, the region's construction minister, was shot dead inside his own office.
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Ingushetia's president, was badly injured in June after a suicide bomber attacked his car.
Moscow has long struggled to impose the Kremlin's authority in the North Caucasus region, which has been the site of two wars in Chechnya and hundreds of violent attacks since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
While large-scale fighting in Chechnya, Ingushetia's neighbour, has ended, rebels continue to mount hit-and-run attacks and skirmishes.
Bloodshed has surged in recent months and increasingly spilled into the republic's neighbours.
Source: Al Jazeera (English)