Two carloads of assailants attacked a hydroelectric station in southern Russia early Wednesday, killing two workers and setting off bombs.
The attack took place in Kabardino-Balkariya, one of the republics in Russia's restive Caucasus region where clashes with insurgents are frequent.
A spokesman for the republic's police, Adlan Kakakuyev, said two cars carrying a half-dozen assailants attacked the Baksan plant at about 4:30 a.m., killing two guards and wounding three others in gunfire. The attackers then set off explosives in several parts of the 25-megawatt plant and detonated them before fleeing.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.
The explosions and subsequent fire destroyed two of the plant's three power units, but there was no danger of flooding downriver, the state news agency ITAR-Tass cited power company RusGidro as saying. The dam and plant are on the Baksan River, a waterway that flows into the Terek, a major regional river.
This is not the first time terrorists have damaged hydroelectric facilities in the Caucasus region. Last August, a major attack killed 76 people and badly damaged one of the largest hydroelectric facilities in Russia. Islamic terrorists claimed responsibility for that attack.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Chechen terrorists claim responsibility here. Russian authorities have called for stepped up security at hydroelectric facilities.