Three blow themselves up at police station in Russia

Three men blew themselves up outside a rural police station in southern Russia after trying to gain entry to the building as part of an unsuccessful attack.

The attack took place in Novoselitskoe, a village in Russia’s Stavropol region close to the volatile North Caucasus area, where Islamist militants intent on carving out a breakaway caliphate have targeted police officers in a series of car bombings and shootings.

“As a result of the blasts the police station and some cars nearby suffered some damage,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement. 

“No local people or police were hurt.”

Investigators said they had identified the suicide bombers, men from another village in the area with previous convictions, including for murder. 

Their names suggested they were originally from the majority-Muslim North Caucasus region.

Investigators did not suggest a motive but said they had opened a criminal case for an attempt on the life of police officers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too soon to say whether the incident was a terrorist or a criminal act.

Local schools were evacuated as a precaution and police were put on a higher state of military-style readiness, said an interior ministry spokesman

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