Death Count in Suicide Bomb Attack in Russia's Dagestan Reaches 6

The number of police killed in a suicide bomb attack in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan has risen to six, the regional emergency medicine center said on Wednesday.

"One person brought from the blast scene died in the hospital. The number of victims has risen to six. The number of those wounded in the blast ranges from ten to fourteen people," the emergency medicine centre said.

The suicide bomber drove a car into a traffic police depot in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, early on Wednesday but was blocked by a police vehicle before exploding.

A police spokesman said that casualties could have been considerably larger, if the car had not been blocked by the police officers who died as a result of the explosion.

The force of the explosion is estimated at 50-60 kg of TNT equivalent, the spokesman said.

Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence lately, with frequent attacks on police and officials.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has earlier pledged to wage "a ruthless fight" against militant groups but also acknowledged a need to tackle unemployment, organized crime, clan rivalry and corruption as causes of the ongoing violence.