Investigators work near the entrance of a police station, which was recently attacked, in Novoseletsky village in Stavropol region on April 11, 2016. © Reuters
Three men, including at least one bomber, have attacked a rural police station in southern Russia
, the Interior Ministry says.
The incident took place on Monday in Novoseletsky village in the southern Stavropol region, which is located near the North Caucasus area.
“An attack took place on a regional police station. One of the attackers blew himself up, two others were killed,” a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Stavropol said.
The spokesman also noted that the police in the region had been put on high state of military alert following the incident.
There are conflicting accounts about the incident.
Sergei Karamyshev, a senior local police officer, said three bombers blew themselves up while police officials were holding a meeting inside the building.
He said five explosions were heard, adding that three of the blasts were caused by bombers and the fourth was caused by a grenade. The source of the fifth explosion was not immediately reported.
Officers, investigators and members of special services stand behind barrier tape in Novoseletsky, where a local police station was attacked, in Stavropol region on April 11, 2016. © Reuters
Natalya Tyncherova, a regional police spokesman, however, said one of the men blew an explosive charge while the other two attackers were killed by “return fire.”
“They were shooting at the building,” Tyncherova said, adding that the number of assailants were not clear.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said investigations started to understand the reason behind the attack.
“Was this a terrorist threat or gangsters? Without knowing the circumstances, it is hard to say,” he added.
Sporadic attacks and militant clashes are common in Russia’s North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia.
Russia has been fighting various waves of insurgencies in the North Caucasus since the early 1990s, despite the official end of the “battle phase” of the Second Chechen War in 2000.