Moscow, May 5 (UNI) Five policemen have been killed and two others injured in a suspected terrorist bomb explosion near a police checkpoint in Grozny, the capital of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
The blast occurred late yesterday, Russian news agencies reported today.
The police officers were making security arrangements ahead of the official inauguration of President-elect Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday after which outgoing President Vladimir Putin will be approved by the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, as Prime Minister on Thursday.
In a separate incident, another cop was killed in Grozny after unidentified assailants opened fire on two police trucks, carrying eight officers yesterday, RIA Novosti reported.
A search for the unidentified gunmen was underway.
Major fighting between Chechen rebels and Russian forces died down in the recent years but hit and run attacks on security forces continued.
The latest attack was the most serious in many months.
Russian forces stormed into Chechnya to crush a separatist revolt in December 1994. Large-scale military operations were resumed in 1999, when Mr Putin was Prime Minister, but in recent years large-scale fighting has died down.
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