MAKHACHKALA, Russia – Ten suspected militants and one police officer have been killed in the volatile southern provinces of Dagestan and Chechnya in three separate incidents, officials said.
Regional Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said that four militants were killed Saturday in the Sergo-Kala district in Dagestan after they opened fire on a police patrol from their car. Two AK-47 rifles and explosives were found in the car, and militants' identities are being verified, he said.
Three more militants were found dead in the Karabudakhkent district in Dagestan after a makeshift bomb exploded in their car, Tolchinsky said.
The Interior Ministry in Chechnya said that three militants and one police officer were killed in a shootout in the Mozdok district in Chechnya on the border with the Northern Ossetia province.
Full-scale fighting in Chechnya, which was devastated by two separatist wars over the last 15 years, ended long ago, but small groups of militants have continued regular raids against authorities. The region has been increasingly plagued by suicide attacks.
Dagestan, that lies between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea, is increasingly gripped by bombings and almost daily clashes among police, militants and criminal gangs.