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Police kill four militants in North Caucasus

RIA Novosti

11:25 10/05/2011 NALCHIK (Kabardino-Balkaria), May 10 (RIA Novosti) - Police killed four suspected militants on Tuesday in a raid in the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, a spokesman said.

Earlier reports said police had surrounded the terrorist group in an apartment in downtown Nalchik, the capital of the volatile republic.

“Police are currently undertaking a ‘clean-up’ operation in the apartment where the militants have been hiding,” the spokesman said. “According to preliminary data, three to five suspected militants have been killed.”

One of the militants killed was a woman, a police source said.

A special operation in North Caucasus in late April led to the death of 10 insurgents thought to be behind a string of terrorist attacks and murders in the region, including an attack on Moscow tourists in a ski resort in February.

A police spokesman said earlier on Tuesday that the suspected killer of the former mufti of Kabardino-Balkaria was believed to be in the flat.

Mufti Anas Pshikhachev, an influential figure in the volatile North Caucasus region, was dragged out of his home and shot by insurgents in December.

Until recently Kabardino-Balkaria was considered one of the calmer republics of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, where terrorist attacks and shootouts with police are common.

Russian federal troops fought two brutal wars against Islamist separatists in neighboring Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s.

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