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Clash in Russia's Caucasus leaves 5 police dead

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Aug. 9, 2012, 7:52 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Chechen Police officers and investigators are seen after a bomb blast, with human body parts in the road in Grozny, Chechnya, southern Russia, on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.
© AP

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — Police say five of their officers and three militants have been killed in a shootout in the volatile Caucasus region in southern Russia.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said a police unit was ambushed Thursday while responding to reports of armed men on the outskirts of a village in Dagestan, a Caucasus republic bordering Chechnya. Three officers were killed and one wounded.

In an ensuing clash with the militants, he said two more officers were killed and another wounded. Three militants also were killed.

Although Chechnya has become more stable after two separatist wars in the 1990s, an Islamic insurgency has spread throughout the Caucasus region. Dagestan has become the epicenter of the violence in recent years, with militants staging daily attacks on police and other authorities.

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