A series of bombings in the Russian republic of Ingushetia could be laying the groundwork for another war in the region.
On Monday a suicide bomber blew up a police car outside the interior ministry, killing two officers.
The bombers then set off another blast, this time by remote control, as investigators arrived.
There was also an attack on a railway in Dagestan, another republic in the North Caucasus.
They come after last week’s Moscow metro bombings.
Two women suicide bombers killed 40 people in what has been called “Russia’s 7/7”.
Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin is blaming the attacks on the largely Muslim region’s Islamists.
Putin says they need to be “destroyed”.
His sabre-rattling is reawakening memories of the run-up to Russia’s war in Chechnya in the late 1990s.
To justify that war, Russian security services framed rebels for bombings.
It later became clear that they were really committed by the Russian state.
Both Ingushetia and Dagestan border Chechnya. Putin’s response is racheting up tensions across the region.
Everyone is all too aware that Putin likes to solve his problems with invasions and air assaults.
This could be the prelude to another war.
It is Russia’s war in Chechnya that created the new generation of militants.
Another war will do nothing but continue that cycle.