Interior Ministry officials say five suspected rebels have been killed in two separate clashes in Russia's volatile North Caucasus.

Mark Tolchinsky of the ministry's branch in the province of Dagestan said two suspects were killed in a skirmish with security forces in the provincial capital Makhachkala early Wednesday. He says the suspects were husband and wife.

The ministry's branch in the province of Kabardino-Balkaria says another three militants were killed Wednesday during a security raid in the town of Ust-Dzheguta. It says the suspects blew themselves up when they were surrounded.

Chechnya and neighboring North Caucasus provinces have remained mired in violence stemming from wars between separatist Chechen rebels and the Russian government.