A suicide bomber blew herself up on Friday after approaching a group of police officers in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, killing one, officials said.
The attack came after a wave of bombings, including strikes on the Moscow metro, killed more than 50 Russians and raised fears the women were part of a larger brigade of so-called Black Widow suicide bombers.
The young woman Friday targeted police officers carrying out a special operation to detain alleged militants on the outskirts of Ingushetia’s main city of Nazran, officials said.
“A young woman walked up to them. She shot our officers who were standing by the police barrier tape, wounding one. After that, her suicide belt exploded,” a police source told AFP.
The officer later died in hospital, a police spokeswoman said. The special operation was still ongoing in the district.
The new attacks come amid fears that the suicide bombings are all connected to one Islamist brigade of female suicide bombers that is prepared to carry out further strikes.
The women are known as Black Widow bombers because they have lost male relatives in clashes between militants and federal forces.
Ingushetia is a predominantly Muslim province of Russia’s North Caucasus which neighbours war-torn Chechnya and has been troubled in recent years by a violent Islamist insurgency.
Russian authorities have sought to tighten security and boost efforts to hunt down insurgents since a pair of suicide bombers attacked the Moscow metro last week, killing 40 people.
That was followed by suicide bombings in Dagestan that killed 12 people, including a local police chief.
The so-called “Caucasus Emirate,” an Islamist group led by Chechen rebel warlord Doku Umarov, has claimed responsibility for the metro attacks.