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Suicide bombers die in police station attack in southern Russia

Three militants have carried out an attack on a regional police station in Stavropol, Russia. The region is located near the volatile North Caucasus area where Islamic extremists have targeted police in the past.

An attack on a village police station in Russia left three militants dead on Monday, the Russian Interior Ministry said.

"An attack took place on a regional police station," a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Stavropol told news agency Reuters. "One of the attackers blew himself up, two others were killed."

No police officers or civilians were hurt or killed during the attempted bombing, Russian news agencies cited regional police as saying.

"We were holding a meeting in the morning when five explosions went off," Sergei Karamyshev, a senior police officer in the village of Novoselitskoye in the southern Stavropol region, told news agency AFP.

"Three people blew themselves up after an officer on duty at the entrance blocked the door to the building," Karamyshev said.

He added that in there were five explosions in total: the three suicide bombers and one grenade, while the cause of the fifth blast was not immediately known.

School evacuations

The governor of Stavropol ordered the evacuation of kindergartens, schools and hospitals following the explosions, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The incident occurred in the village of Novoselitskoye in Russia's Stavropol region, which is close to the majority-Muslim North Caucasus area where an Islamic insurgency has been brewing for years.

The attackers' motives and identities were not immediately known. One of the assailants was believed to be a local resident, a source told Interfax.

In nearby Dagestan, the center of the Islamic insurgency, numerous attacks in the past have targeted police and other officials. Last December, the militant "Islamic State" group claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting in the popular tourist city of Derbent.

Attacks in southern Russia are extremely rare.

rs/tj (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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