At least 18 people died and about 70 were wounded following a suicide bombing Monday morning outside a police headquarters in Narzon in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, Russian state television reported.
“The fire was finally extinguished, but there could be more dead and wounded under the rubble of the exploded building,” it said. “At about 9 a.m. local (1 a.m. ET) a suicide bomber driving a truck stuffed with explosives rammed into the gate of the police station,” Kaloi Akhilgov, a spokesman for Ingushetia’s president, told CNN. “It was a powerful explosion. Windows and balconies were broken in several residential buildings around the police station, injuring many people.” Ingushetia’s president called the attack an attempt by Islamist rebels to undermine stability in the republic. “There is no doubt that militants did that to boost their significance. It was an attempt to undermine stability and to sow panic,” said President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who ordered tightened security around local government buildings and declared a three-day mourning period for blast victims. In Moscow, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to take steps to protect police in Ingushetia, the Kremlin press office reported. He also offered condolences to the families of the bombing victims. Yevkurov is being treated at a rehabilitation center near Moscow following an assassination attempt in June. He suffered a severe brain concussion, fractured ribs and a ruptured liver. An Islamist suicide bomber rammed into his motorcade in Ingushetia. His driver and bodyguard were killed.