Russian security forces kill four rebels in Caucasus

Russian security forces kill four rebels in Caucasus Moscow: Russian security forces have killed four rebels in the troubled Caucasus region of Ingushetia, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday, citing a police spokesman.

Security forces surrounded rebel hideouts in the village of Ekazhevo close to the regional capital Nazran and opened fire when rebels refused to surrender, a police spokesman told Interfax. "During the clash, four of them were eliminated."

The rebel group had taken part in shootings and bombings targeted at policemen and their relatives, the spokesman told Interfax. The shoot-out continued this morning as at least five more rebels hid in nearby houses.

Militants have stepped up attacks in recent months throughout Russia's Caucasus region, where Islamist fighters have been battling pro-Kremlin local authorities and Russian security forces in a sporadic insurgency.