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Suicide Bomb Kills 20 At Ingushetian Police Station

The site of the bomb blast in Nazran
The site of the bomb blast in Nazran
NAZRAN, Ingushetia -- A suicide bomber in a truck packed with explosives has left at least 20 people dead and 80 wounded in Russia's volatile republic of Ingushetia, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Ingushetian presidential spokesman Kaloy Akhilgov told RFE/RL that the suicide bomber drove a Gazel mini-truck through a gate and into the courtyard of the city's police headquarters, where police officers were gathering for their morning assignments.

Akhilgov said the vehicle had been reported stolen.

The police station was severely damaged and 20 police cars were destroyed by the explosion of the equivalent of 50 kilograms of TNT, Interfax reported, citing a law enforcement source.

Several nearby apartment buildings also sustained heavy damage, and 11 children are reported to be among those wounded. Ingushetian officials announced three days of mourning in the republic.

No one has claimed responsibility for the rare suicide-bomb attack, but the terrorist group Riyad-us Salihin (Gardens of the Righteous) Martyrs Brigade -- which was led by Chechen rebel commander Shamil Basayev until his death in 2006 -- is suspected of involvement.

Before this latest attack, 25 police officers had been killed in Ingushetia during the first six months of the year.

Prime Minister Rashid Gaysanov noted last week that there had not been a single attack on police in Ingushetia during the first 10 days of August, however.

Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was badly injured in June when a suicide bomber attacked his car. He left a Moscow hospital last week and is expected to return to his post in the coming weeks.