Moscow: Russian authorities killed five
suspected rebels in the volatile North Caucasus region of
Dagestan who opened fire at police as they attempted to stop
their car, officials said on Wednesday.
The latest skirmish between authorities and militants
took place during an attempted identity check late yesterday
in the town of Khasavyurt near Chechnya, the site of two
bloody wars with separatists in the 1990s.
"Five members of an illegal armed group have been
eliminated by return fire," the regional interior ministry
said in a statement. Three automatic rifles and munitions have
been found in the car during a search, it said.
The statement identified four of the five men, saying
they were in their early twenties to early thirties.
Dagestan is part of Russia`s volatile North Caucasus
region where authorities are battling an Islamist insurgency
and where shootings and bomb attacks are nearly a daily
Analysts say poverty and corruption create a fertile
ground for violence and help Islamist militants recruit young
people in the region.