Two police officers killed, 17 wounded in Russian Caucasus

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Two police officers were killed and 17 others wounded in separate attacks in Russia's north Caucasus region late Wednesday, Interfax news agency said.

In Kabardino-Balkaria, the police chief of Elbrus district was shot dead when he returned home, Interfax quoted police as saying. A female officer was killed in the same attack.

In Dagestan, 17 police officers were slightly injured when an explosive device went off near their car at Kaspiysk, a spokesman for the local police said, also quoted by the agency.

Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said earlier security forces killed 14 rebels in two operations in Dagestan early Wednesday.

Special forces began the operations against "groups of saboteurs and terrorists" on the outskirts of the regional capital of Makhachkala and in nearby Kaspiysk, the committee said.

An increasingly deadly Islamist-driven insurgency in the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia has claimed scores of lives annually, with attacks occurring on a near daily basis in Dagestan.

Kaspiysk was the scene of one of the most deadly attacks in Russia in modern times when a bomb exploded during a Victory Day parade in 2002, killing 45 people.

© 2010 AFP

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