Moscow: Three Russian soldiers were killed on Monday in a clash with rebels linked to the Moscow metro bombings in the turbulent North Caucasus region of Dagestan, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
"During a shoot-out with a besieged group of rebels, three Interior Ministry troops died. Three soldiers, including the platoon commander were hospitalised with injuries," a security service source told RIA Novosti.
The operation which began on Sunday in a wooded area in the Karabudakhkentsky district, targeted rebels led by Magomedali Vagabalov, who is believed to be the husband of one of the Moscow metro suicide bombers, Channel One television reported.
RIA Novosti reported that one of the rebels is suspected to be the brother of Maryam Sharipova, one of the two suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Moscow metro stations in March, citing a security source.
The double suicide bombings in the Moscow metro on March 29 killed 40 people.