Two policemen killed in Russian Caucasus: officials

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Two policemen have been killed in shootings in Russia's increasingly volatile North Caucasus, after militants staged a brazen attack on the parliament building in Chechnya, officials said on Wednesday.

Three militants were killed on Wednesday during a skirmish near an idle metals plant in the Kabardino-Balkaria region's town of Tyrnyauz located high in the mountains, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, Tatyana Nauzhokova, told AFP.

Following the shootout, a local policeman was taken to a hospital where he died of gunshot wounds, the Moscow-based Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

Kabardino-Balkaria, which is famed for its ski resorts, is located near the volatile regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia but has until recently rarely seen the bloody attacks that characterise the unrest between Russian forces and separatist rebels.

Earlier in the day the Moscow-based investigators said an unidentified attacker had fired at a 32-year policeman in Ingushetia, who had died later of his wounds.

The incident took place late Tuesday in the town of Malgobek, the Moscow-based Investigative Committee said.

Earlier Tuesday militants had stormed parliament in Russia's conflict-torn republic of Chechnya, gunning down three people, before being killed in a bloody standoff with security forces.

A report in Kommersant daily said the armed militants, wearing camouflage battledress, had driven up to the parliament building in a taxi.

© 2010 AFP

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