Makhachkala: Police and security forces in Russia have killed seven suspected militants in two separate raids in a restive southern province and gunmen have shot a school principal dead in an unrelated attack, officials said on Friday.
A security raid in the village of Kirovaul in the Caspian Sea province of Dagestan left five suspected militants dead Thursday night, said Magomed Tagirov, a spokesman for the regional branch of Russia`s Interior Ministry.
On Friday, police and security forces tracked down another group of suspects in the provincial capital, Makhachkala. They holed up in a house and refused to surrender. Police stormed the house, killing two suspected militants and capturing one.
The gunbattle also left two police officers dead and another three wounded, Tagirov said.
In a separate incident in Makhachkala late Thursday, police spokesman Magomed Tagirov said two masked men broke into a house of a local school principal and shot her dead at point-blank range.
And in Chechnya yesterday, security forces were pursuing a group of militants in the forested southern mountains, the regional administration said. One soldier died in the fighting.
Dagestan and other provinces in Russia`s volatile North Caucasus have been plagued by attacks and bombings by Islamic militants who have spread across the region after two separatist wars in neighbouring Chechnya.
Human rights groups and Kremlin critics claim police and military resort to extra-judicial killings, kidnappings and torture provoking retaliatory attacks and violence.