Two car bombs exploded in Makhachkala, capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan in North Caucasus area, on May 20, 2013, killing at least three persons and wounding another 20, apart from destroying more than 20 cars. These blasts occurred as two cars outside the headquarters of the court bailiffs' service in Makhachkala detonated within minutes of each other. When police officials were about to approach the first vehicle, the second one exploded. As per a local official, who wished to remain anonymous, this was quoted, “Two cars were blown up one after another. Report about injured victims are being verified.”
At present, the republic of Dagestan is facing an insurgency by Islamist militants, who wish to create an independent state in Southern Russia. Previously on May 1, 2013, at least two persons were killed and two others wounded by an explosion that took place within short distance of a shopping centre in Makhachkala.
Interestingly, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, main suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in the US, lived in the area of Dagestan nearly a decade back, along with his family. As per report, he visited the region during 2012. Tsarnaev was shot dead by US police during his visit, as he was responsible for the the April 15 bombings where three persons were killed and 264 others were wounded. US investigators are scrutinising whether he had links with the current fighters or not.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the affected area of Dagestan and has instructed law enforcement authorities to keep a strict watch, such that fighters do not attack proceedings at the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in February 2014. Arrangements would be made in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, that lies close to the North Caucasus. Russia as a nation has been engaged in fighting militants since the mid-1990s. In the North Caucasus region, republics of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia have witnessed several sporadic attacks and militant clashes.
Violence first took place in Chechnya during 1994, when 250,000 people were forced to flee to neighbouring territories. This was due to a war that took place between Chechen separatists and the Russian army. After a short period of peace from 1996 to 1999, war started once again.