One policeman killed, two wounded in Dagestan

Two suspected militants killed one Russian policeman and wounded two others in the violence-wracked republic of Dagestan, officials said.

Two armed men opened fire on a police patrol inspecting an abandoned car in the town of Khasavyurt near the border with Chechnya, killing one and wounding two, said Anzhela Martirosova, a spokeswoman for the regional branch of Russia's Interior Ministry.

The assailants, who were shooting from a passing car, escaped, she said.

Also Sunday, the former head of the Novolak district, Tamerlan Amayev, was wounded after a bomb exploded in a restaurant in Khasavyurt, Martirosova said. It was not clear whether Amayev was the target of the explosion.

Dagestan, an ethnically mixed, mostly Muslim region in Russia's volatile North Caucasus, has long been afflicted with violence, some of it tied to the conflict in Chechnya. Some of the violence also stems from political infighting and turf fights over fishing and other lucrative economic activities.