6 policemen, 4 militants killed in Dagestan

Police say shootouts across the capital of Russia's violent southern province of Dagestan have killed at least six policemen and four suspected militants.

Local police spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said the four suspected militants hijacked a policeman's personal car and attacked two police squads in the city of Makhachkala on Thursday, leaving six officers dead and six wounded.

He says the hijackers' car caught on fire and blew up when police surrounded it and started shooting at the attackers.

Dagestan and nearby provinces in the Russian Caucasus suffer near-daily violence linked to criminals and an insurgency that spread across the region after two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.