MAKHACHKALA, Russia-- Police in Russia's republic of Dagestan say a military helicopter was used to kill two armed men who fled into the woods after being spotted near a hidden underground shelter stocked with explosives.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said Sunday that police were searching a wooded area when they discovered the shelter, which contained six homemade explosive devices and other bomb components.

When two armed men seen nearby fled deeper into the woods, he said police called in the helicopter. Their bodies were found after Saturday's operation.

Dagestan is hit by frequent clashes between police and fighters believed to have been inspired by the Islamic insurgency in neighboring Chechnya, where violence has subsided significantly.