Russian officials say at least seven militants and one law enforcement officer have been killed in clashes in Russia's restive North Caucasus region.

Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee says Thursday that three FSB officers were also injured in the ongoing clashes in a rural area south of the regional capital of Makhachkala in the southern province of Dagestan. The committee said the FSB officers were following the militants through the woods and found multiple weapons and ammunition stashed there, including two grenade launchers.

Following two separatist wars in Russia's neighboring Chechnya region, Dagestan has become the epicenter of an Islamic insurgency. Nearly third of the estimated 3,000 Russians who are believed to have gone to fight alongside Islamic State militants in Syria are from Dagestan, officials say.