Police in Russia's Dagestan region say two officers have been killed and 14 wounded during clashes with militants holed up in an apartment.

Police spokeswoman Fatina Ubaidatova said the clashes began Saturday when police searching an apartment building in the city of Derbent came across armed militants, who threw a grenade at them and took a wounded officer hostage.

She said after learning that the captive officer had died, police stormed the apartment and another officer was killed. She gave no information about the militants.

The Interfax news agency, citing unidentified law enforcement officials, said at least four militants were killed in the apartment, which was set on fire.

Dagestan is the center of an Islamic insurgency still simmering in southern Russia following separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.