Five killed in gunbattle near Chechnya

Security forces battled gunmen holed up in a mountainous forest east of Chechnya for a second day today and at least five officers were killed, regional officials said. An unknown number of militants were also killed.



The fighting in the southern districts of Dagestan was some of the fiercest to hit the poor, volatile North Caucasus republic in years.

State-run TV showed dozens of members of the security forces and vehicles perched on hillsides outside the Karabudakhkentsky district village of Kakashura.

Helicopter gunships were shown firing missiles into a forest where police said between 10 and 15 heavily armed gunmen were located, not far from the border with Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Three Interior Ministry soldiers were killed Friday, bringing the death toll among police in two days of fighting to five, Dagestani Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said. One of those killed was a helicopter gunner who was fatally shot Thursday.

Three police have also been wounded, he said.

An unknown number of gunmen were believed wounded or killed, officials said.

The police action, which began Wednesday, came after officials in the regions complained to regional authorities about the presence of the gunmen.

Underscoring the seriousness of the fighting, state-run TV also prominently showed a meeting between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Dagestan's leader, Mukhu Aliev.

"I'm convinced that despite all the complications the police work will be completed successfully," Putin said.

Meanwhile, in the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala, police fatally shot four men Friday who failed to stop their car at a checkpoint and began shooting at officers, city police spokesman Shamil Guseinov said.

The fighting is the latest round of violence to plague the North Caucasus, pitting criminal gangs, Islamic militants or feuding clans against one another or against government and police forces.

Islamic-inspired rebels sparked two wars in Chechnya over the past 15 years, but any large-scale insurgency ended years ago. Still, Chechnya still sees occasional hit-and-run attacks on government troops and the violence has spilled over into neighboring regions such as Dagestan or Kabardino-Balkaria.

A three-hour shoot-out yesterday north of the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria left four gunmen killed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Growing Law firm

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable law firm based in central London ...

Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

The Jenrick Group: Controls Engineer

Negotiable: The Jenrick Group: A Controls Engineer is urgently required for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Manager

£32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an an exciting opportunity to jo...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas