1 Apr 2010

Another bomb attack in Russia kills 12

12:19 am on 1 April 2010

The dealth toll from two bomb blasts in Russia's turbulent North Caucasus region of Dagestan has risen to at least 12.

The attack occured in the town of Kizlyar, and the Itar-Tass news agency says one of the bombs exploded near a cinema in the town centre.

A local police spokesperson says at least nine people have died in the attack, including a top police official.

Police suspect suicide bombers set off the second blast.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says catching the organisers of Monday's suicide bombings in Moscow on should be a matter of honour for investigators.

Mr Putin said the security services, who have been widely criticised in the media, should drag the bombing masterminds "from the bottom of the sewers", the BBC reports.

Russians yesterday observed a day of mourning for those killed in the rush-hour attacks on two underground trains.

Officials have blamed the bombings on militants from the North Caucasus.

Russian media reports are linking the attacks to the death of a rebel leader from Ingushetia - Alexander Tikhomirov, also called Said Buryatsky.

He was killed by Russian security forces in March after being blamed for an attack on a train last year in which 26 people died.

Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted investigation sources as saying they believed Tikhomirov had recruited 30 suicide attackers from Ingushetia and neighbouring Chechnya.

Police fear that two of the bombers he trained might have blown up the Moscow trains to avenge his death.

The BBC reports the main concern for Russia is whether Monday's bombings were the start of a new wave of attacks by rebels.

Security has been stepped up in the capital, as police are reported to be searching for three people sighted with the bombers.

The Metro is operating, but commuters say the city was not yet back to normal.