Officials say a homicide bomb attack has killed three policemen and two civilians in Chechnya.

The regional Emergency Ministry said Sunday the attacker approached a crowd near a concert hall in the Chechen capital, Grozny.

The ITAR-TASS news agency reported that at least 20 people were wounded.

It said police prevented the bomber from entering the concert hall hours before the start of a youth festival.

Chechnya and surrounding provinces in Russia's North Caucasus region are beset by daily shootings, bombings and other violence that persists after two wars between Chechen rebels and government forces.