MOSCOW - Police killed seven suspected militants in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria on Thursday, Russian news agencies reported, citing law enforcement authorities.
Insurgents carry out almost daily attacks in the patchwork
of small, mostly Muslim regions along the country’s southern
border. But violence is less frequent in Kabardino-Balkaria than
in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan further southeast.
Preliminary reports indicated that police killed seven
militants, two of them women, state-run RIA news agency quoted
an unidentified police official as saying.
An official in the National Anti-Terrorist Committee told
Itar-Tass, also state-run, that the militants had barricaded
themselves inside a private house in the provincial capital,
Nalchik, and exchanged fire with law enforcement officers.
Police said that among those killed was a local militant
leader. On Tuesday, security forces killed five militants in a
short gun battle in Ingushetia, according to the committee.
Militants in the North Caucasus say they are fighting for an
Islamic state in the strip of provinces along Russia’s southern
border. Rights activists say the insurgency is driven by poverty
and anger at the tactics of the security forces.