3 men blow themselves up outside police station in southern Russia

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Russian Counterterror Troops'​ Exercise Ends With A Bang

MOSCOW, April 11 (Reuters) - Three men blew themselves up outside a rural police station in southern Russia on Monday after trying to gain entry to the building as part of an unsuccessful attack, Russian investigators said in a statement.

The attack took place in Novoselitskoe, a village in Russia's Stavropol region close to the volatile majority-Muslim North Caucasus area, where Islamist militants intent on carving out a breakaway caliphate have targeted policemen in a series of car bombings and shootings.

"As a result of the blasts the police station and some cars nearby suffered some damage," Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement. "No local people or police were hurt."

Investigators said they had identified the suicide bombers, men from another village in the area with previous convictions, including for murder. Their names suggested they were Muslims.

Investigators did not suggest a motive but said they had opened a criminal case for an attempt on the life of police officers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too soon to say whether the incident was a terrorist or a criminal act.

Local kindergartens and schools were evacuated as a precaution, news agencies reported, and police were put on a higher state of military-style readiness, said an interior ministry spokesman in the Stavropol region.

An eyewitness video on the lifenews.ru news site showed the blackened entrance to the police station and debris in front of it as a continuous alarm sounded.

The man filming the video, who was not named, said locals had heard five explosions and the sound of automatic gun fire.

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3 men blow themselves up outside police station in southern Russia
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Smoke rises after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas in Tal Rifaat District of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at vehicles and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: A Syrian girl who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, walks as they shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: A Syrian girl push a wheelchair, carrying an amputee boy as they shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, after flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians, flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces wait in a queue to receive food, distributed by a Turkish NGO IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, as they shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at tents and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, shelter at vehicles and try to live their lives with humanitarian aid send by Turkey, UNHCR and other Turkish Humanitarian aid organizations, close to the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Smoke rises after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas in Tal Rifaat District of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: A Russian warcraft is seen flying over the sky after hitting residential areas in Tal Rifaat District of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
IDLIB, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09 : Civilians and rescue workers inspect collapsed buildings after Russian Forces' airstrike over opposition controlled residential areas in Idlib's Talmanes Town, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Mohamad Karkas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces to residential areas on Hayan, Haritan, Kafr, Anadan, Kafr Naya, Mayir and Ihris districts of Syria, try to live at tents and open areas at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces to residential areas on Hayan, Haritan, Kafr, Anadan, Kafr Naya, Mayir and Ihris districts of Syria, try to live at tents and open areas at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces to residential areas on Hayan, Haritan, Kafr, Anadan, Kafr Naya, Mayir and Ihris districts of Syria, try to live at tents and open areas at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 10: A Syrian child, who fled bombing in Aleppo, is seen at a tent city close to the Bab al-Salam border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2016. Russian airstrikes have recently forced some 40,000 people to flee their homes in Syrias northern city of Aleppo. (Photo by Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces to residential areas on Hayan, Haritan, Kafr, Anadan, Kafr Naya, Mayir and Ihris districts of Syria, try to live at tents and open areas at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 9: Syrians who flee the attacks of Assad Regime and Russian air forces, try to live inside wrecked vehicle as they barely covered them with blankets and tarpaulins, at a refugee camp at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 8 : Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, warm around the fire as they shelter at tents and try to hold on to life, at a refugee camp at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 08: A wounded kid is being hospitalized after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas at opposition controlled Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016. Several residents killed and wounded after airstrikes, reported. (Photo by Beha El-Halebi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 08: A wounded kid is being hospitalized after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas at opposition controlled Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016. Several residents killed and wounded after airstrikes, reported. (Photo by Beha El-Halebi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 08: Heavily damaged buildings and vehicles are seen after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas at opposition controlled Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016. Several residents killed and wounded after airstrikes, reported. (Photo by Beha El-Halebi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 8: People walk past the rubbles as Russian airstrikes pound residential areas at opposition controlled Salihin neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on February 8, 2016. (Photo by Ibrahim Ebu Leys/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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