The president of the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, is to be flown to Moscow for further medical treatment after being severely wounded in an assassination attempt.
CNN reports two bodyguards were killed when Mr Yevkurov's convoy was hit by a car driven by a suicide bomber at about 8:30am local time on Monday.
President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia condemned the attack as a "terrorist act" and said it was an attempt by "bandits" to undermine Mr Yevkurov's efforts to restore order in the republic.
The explosion ripped roof tiles off a nearby house and dislodged bricks from walls. Television pictures showed a burnt-out wreck of a car in a ditch at the side of the road.
Prosecutors said the blast had a force equivalent to that of 70kg of TNT.
Mr Yevkurov was appointed president in October, as a replacement for former secret police officer Murat Zyazikov.
Rebels tried to assassinate Mr Zyazikov on the same stretch of road in 2004.