A suicide car bomber hit the central market of a major city in Russia's restive North Caucasus region on Thursday, killing at least nine and wounding more than 100 people, officials said.
The attacker detonated his explosives as he drove by the main entrance to the Vladikavkaz market, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry.
At least nine people, including the suicide bomber, were killed and 133 were wounded in the explosion, said Alexander Pogorely of the Emergency Situations Ministry's branch in southern Russia.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his regional envoy to Vladikavkaz to help coordinate efforts to help the victims.
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The market and its surrounding blocks has been the target of several bomb attacks over the past dozen years, in which scores of people have died.
Vladikavkaz is the capital of the Russian republic of North Ossetia. Although it is less plagued by violence than some other republics in the region such as Chechnya and Dagestan, North Ossetia has suffered ethnic tensions and frequent terror attacks.
It was the scene of the 2004 Beslan crisis, in which Chechen terrorists took hundreds of hostages at a school - a siege that ended in a bloodbath killing more than 330 people, about half of them children.
The Vladikavkaz market was bombed in 1999, killing 55. Another bombing in 2001 killed six people. In 2004, 11 people died when a minibus stopped near the market was bombed.
Russia's North Caucasus region has been gripped by violence stemming from two separatist wars in Chechnya and fueled by endemic poverty, rampant official corruption and police abuses.
In the Caspian Sea province of Dagestan, officials said Thursday that a hotel employee and another civilian were shot to death by men trying to build a bomb in their hotel room.
Republican Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said the shooting took place late Wednesday in the capital Makhachkala. He said three armed men fled a room in the small hotel after an explosion and opened fire on a hotel clerk and another person who confronted them. He says police found several bombs and six grenades in the room.
In the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt, on the border with Chechnya, a policeman returning home from work was shot to death, Gasanov said.