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Six militants killed in Russia's North Caucasus

RIA Novosti

18:00 10/06/2011 NALCHIK (Kabardino-Balkaria), June 10 (RIA Novosti) - A total of six suspected militants were killed on Friday in the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria during a special operation in which a police officer also died, a police source said.

"Six militants were killed in the clashes near the village of Neytrino," the source said, adding that five policemen were also injured.

The dead men have yet to be identified.

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 a February attack on a group of Moscow tourists in a ski resort.

In May, police surrounded a terrorist group in an apartment in downtown Nalchik, the capital of the volatile republic and killed four suspected militants, one of whom was believed to be behind a murder of the former mufti of Kabardino-Balkaria.

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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