Dagestan Explosion Kills Muslim Cleric and Bodyguard

Posted March 23rd, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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Russian police say an explosion Friday has killed a Muslim cleric and his bodyguard in the southern province of Dagestan, in Russia's restive Caucasus region.

Authorities say the cleric was walking to prayer in the central town of Buinaksk when a remote-controlled explosive device detonated.

Islamist extremists are blamed for fueling violence in Dagestan and across the North Caucasus following two separatist battles in neighboring Chechnya.

The rebels are seeking to create a strict Islamic state.