Two killed in nothern Caucasus power station attack

Two carloads of assailants attacked a hydroelectric station in southern Russia on Wednesday, killing two workers and setting off bombs. The attack took place in Kabardino-Balkariya, part of the North Caucasus region where Russian authorities are battling a Muslim insurgency. However, there were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

The attack was a blow to Kremlin efforts to contain an Islamist insurgency in the mainly Muslim provinces of the North Caucasus. Analysts said the raid indicated rebels were fulfilling their promise to target economic infrastructure as part of their fight to create an Islamist pan-Caucasus state in south Russia.

“This shows the scourge of terrorism is not only not subsiding, but expanding geographically,” said Gennady Gudkov, deputy head of the security committee of Russia’s parliament. Kabardino-Balkaria is near Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, but has suffered far fewer attacks.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who calls himself the “Emir of the Caucasus Emirate,” has vowed to attack Russia’s energy pipelines and power stations.

“I think this is a change in tactics,” said Grigory Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Knot Internet news agency. He said it would be reasonable to expect more attacks on economic targets.

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