5 Russian servicemen killed in village ambush

The Interior Ministry says a small band of insurgents in Russia's violence-plagued Caucasus region has killed five servicemen in an ambush.

The attack took place near the village of Dattikh in Ingushetia, one of several Caucasus republics hit by an Islamic insurgency. Ingushetia lies along the western border of Chechnya, where separatists have fought two full-scale wars with Russian forces over the past two decades.

Violence, apparently inspired by the Chechen insurgency, has spread to nearby republics of the multiethnic and predominantly Muslim region.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said Wednesday that a band of about 10 fighters set off a roadside bomb as a convoy of ministry troops passed, then opened fire before fleeing into the area's wooded mountains.