Last Wednesday, two more suicide bombers killed 12 in Dagestan, including nine police officers. On Monday, a suicide bomber in neighboring Ingushetia killed two policemen who stopped him at the gates to the police station.
Human rights groups have long argued that Russian forces in the region have stoked the insurgency with kidnappings, torture and murder of suspected insurgents and their family members.
President Dmitry Medvedev has said the insurgents will be "destroyed" and that future attacks will be prevented with "brutal" tactics, echoing his powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who made it his mission when he was president to bring stability to the North Caucasus.
At the same time, Medvedev has argued for using social and economic policies to encourage peace in the region, making it unclear which policy will prevail.