3 killed, 3 wounded in Russia's volatile Chechnya

August 30, 2011 - 3:35 PM

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) — Three police officers were killed and three civilians wounded in a suicide bomb attack and subsequent shooting in Russia's province of Chechnya on Tuesday.

The suicide bomber killed two police officers near a cafe in the Chechen capital, Grozny, where a festive crowd was celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, duty officer Musa Kasayev said. The explosion also wounded three civilians nearby, he told The Associated Press.

The regional police press service said that a third police officer was killed in a shootout in a crowd that gathered around the cafe after the explosion.

No one claimed responsibility for the attacks.

An Islamic insurgency has spread across Russia's southern Caucasus region since two separatists wars were fought in Chechnya. The insurgents launch regular attacks on authorities they blame for abductions, torture and extra-judicial killings.

While Chechnya has become more stable in recent years under the steely grip of a Moscow-backed strongman, neighboring provinces have seen an increase in attacks on police and other authorities.