Soldier, militant killed in Chechnya shoot-out

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A Russian soldier and a suspected militant were killed in a shoot-out on Sunday in Grozny, the capital of the volatile southern Russian republic of Chechnya, a security source told AFP.

Eight others, including six soldiers, a policeman and a civilian, were wounded during the gunfight, a spokesman for an investigative committee of local prosecutors told the Interfax news agency.

The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the Caucasus region since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, waging a war in 1994-1996 against separatist rebels in Chechnya.

After a second war in Chechnya in 1999, the rebellion's inspiration moved towards Islam with the aim of imposing an Islamic state in the region.

Although the war ended in 2000, rebels have waged an increasingly deadly insurgency with unrest spreading into other areas of the North Caucasus such as Dagestan and Ingushetia.

© 2011 AFP

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