Two dead, three injured in Chechen attack: interior minister

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Police killed a suspected rebel in Chechnya Tuesday after he opened fire on them and took three people hostage, Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said.

A police officer was also killed and three others injured during the operation, which took place in the village of Pobedinskoe in the capital Grozny, Alkhanov told Interfax news agency.

The suspected rebel started shooting at the police, after he was asked to stop. He then hid in a nearby house and held three people hostage, before he was killed by police.

The Russian Caucasus, crippled by two Chechen wars in the 1990s and early 2000s, has seen a wave of attacks generally aimed at authorities.

In an interview published Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied evidence of a new war brewing in the volatile region.

© 2010 AFP

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