|Deaths in North Caucasus blasts|
The bomb blasts on Wednesday morning happened in the centre of the town of Kizlyar in Dagestan region.
Eighteen people were reportedly injured, and a local police spokesman said most of the victims were believed to be policemen.
Vyacheslav Gasanov, a local interior ministry spokesman, told The Associated Press that traffic police pulled over a suspicious-looking car, and the driver then detonated explosives.
As police and locals gathered at the scene there was a second blast, he said.
The blasts come just two days after suicide bomb attacks in Moscow's underground system killed 39 people and injured scores.
Russian officials have blamed Muslim separatist fighters from the North Caucasus for those attacks.
Umarov, who claimed responsibility, also claimed responsibility for the bombing of a passenger train travelling between Moscow and St Petersburg in November, warned that "the war is coming to their cities".
Umarov was in Moscow (or in Tyumen Oblast) when the first Russian-Chechen war broke out in December 1994, he returned to Chechnya to fulfill what he said was his patriotic duty to fight. Umarov initially served under the command of Ruslan Gelayev. In 1996, due to disagreements with Gelayev, he left the unit and joined the command of Akhmed Zakayev, who had also left Gelayev's ranks, now heading the special forces unit Borz ("Wolf"). In the course of the war, in which his unit was expanded from a battalion to regiment, Umarov was promoted to the rank of brigadier generaland won two prestigious awards for valor: for his bravery he was decorated with Ichkeria's two highest medals: Hero of the Nation (Kyoman Turpal) and Honour of the Nation (Kioman Syi).
Akhmed Zakayev was born in 1956 in the settlement of Kirovskiy (now in Almaty Province) in Kazakhstan, where his family was deported by Stalin's regime along with the rest of the Chechens in 1944. He graduated from acting and choreographyschools in Voronezh and Moscow and worked as an actor at a theatre in the Chechen capital Grozny, specializing in a Shakespearean roles. Since 1991, he was the chairman of the Chechen Union of the Theatrical Actors. In 1994, Zakayev became a Minister of Culture in the Chechen separatist government of Dzhokhar Dudayev.
Zakayev became Chechen Deputy Prime Minister (in charge of education and culture) and a special envoy of elected President of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov for relations with Moscow, taking part in the delegation that signed the official Chechen-Russian peace treaty at the Kremlin in 1997. During the interwar period, he opposed the rise of radical Islam in Chechnya and co-authored a book entitled Wahhabism - the Kremlin's remedy against national liberation movements, alleging an association between Islamist extremism and Soviet global "pro-terrorist" policy and support for dictatorships in the Muslim world. During the early phases of the Second Chechen War in 1999-2000, Zakayev commanded Maskhadov's presidential guard; he was also involved in negotiations with Russian representatives before and during the resumed hostilities. In 2000, having been wounded in a car accident during the new siege of Grozny, he left Chechnya for treatment. After this he stayed abroad and became President Maskhadov's most prominent representative inWestern Europe, while Ilyas Akhmadov was the Chechen emissary to the United States.
Since January 2002, Zakayev and his immediate family are residing permanently in the United Kingdom. After receiving the political asylum in Britain in 2003, Zakayev lives in London and he visited several countries (includingFrance, Germany and Poland) without being arrested
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