Policeman, four rebels killed in Russian Caucasus
A police officer was shot dead in an operation to capture a suspected insurgent in the Russia's Dagestan region in the turbulent North Caucasus area, regional police said Wednesday.
A police colonel, Magomedrasul Magomedov, died in hospital and two officers were wounded after the suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon late Tuesday in the town of Kaspiisk, the Dagestan interior ministry said in a statement.
Police then shot dead the suspected rebel, identified as Rustam Radzhabov, who was armed with a pistol and an improvised hand grenade, the statement said.
In a separate operation early Wednesday, police shot dead four suspected rebels who opened fire on a highway in the Karabudakhkent district in eastern Dagestan after being asked to stop for a check, the interior ministry said.
"Four rebels were killed in answering fire, whose identities are being established. The car caught fire during the shootout," the ministry said.
Dagestan has experienced some of the deadliest violence in Russia's mostly Muslim southern periphery since peace was largely restored in neighbouring Chechnya just under a decade ago.
Russia is fighting a simmering Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, where it fought two wars with Chechen separatists in the 1990s, and attacks on police and government officials in the region are a near-daily occurrence.
© 2011 AFP