| Updated at: 1112 PST, Saturday, September 25, 2010|
MOSCOW: A suicide bomber blew himself up in Russia's North Caucasus province of Dagestan, wounding at least 26 people, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday.
The attacker set off explosives after approaching police guarding a cordoned-off site where security forces had battled with suspected militants hours earlier, a news agency reported, citing a local law enforcement official.
The blast late on Friday wounded 13 police officers and 13civilians, the report said. Other reports said as many as 30people were hurt.
Unidentified assailants gunned down a school principal in her home in Dagestan earlier on Friday, while separate shoot-outs killed 12 people across the North Caucasus.
An insurgency is raging in the mainly Muslim region, where rebels angry about poverty and fuelled by the ideology of global jihad want to carve out an independent state governed by sharia law.
The suicide bomber approached an area police had cordoned off in a bid to isolate a group of suspected militants, the news agency reported, citing the National Anti-terror Committee. It said two militants and two law enforcement officers had been killed before the operation was suspended after nightfall.
A decade after separatists were driven from power in the second of two wars in Chechnya, adjacent to Dagestan, the North Caucasus is plagued by near-daily attacks, mostly targeting police and other government forces.