updated 9/4/2009 9:12:52 AM ET 2009-09-04T13:12:52

A roadside bomb blast ripped through a police car in Russia's violence-plagued southern Ingushetia province on Friday, killing three officers and wounding two others, authorities said.

Five policemen were in the car hit by the explosive device near the village of Dattykh, provincial Interior Ministry spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva said.

Ingushetia has suffered a series of bomb attacks amid a surge in violence across the North Caucasus region in recent months. Ingushetia's president was almost killed in a suicide bomb blast in June, and a separate suicide attack killed at least 21 people at a police station last month.

War-torn region
The restive province also borders Chechnya, the site of two devastating post-Soviet wars between government forces and separatist rebels.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the Kremlin-backed leaders of Ingushetia and Chechnya have expressed increasing concern about frequent insurgent attacks.

Chechnya's Interior Ministry, meanwhile, said two police officers were wounded in a gunbattle with militants late Thursday.

Separately, four Chechens suspected of planning to carry out suicide bombings were detained the same day, the ministry said.

More on: Russia | Ingushetia

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