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Five Policemen, Three Militants Killed in Dagestan

RIA Novosti

19:15 09/08/2012 MAKHACHKALA, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - At least five police officers and three militants were killed on Thursday in a shootout in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, the regional interior ministry said in an updated report.

Earlier reports said three policemen were killed and one wounded when unknown assailants attacked a police patrol in the Botlikhsky district, near the village of Chanko.

According to the ministry, the gunmen who were hiding in a forest opened fire at a police car as the police officers inside checked information about armed men near the village.

A search for assailants is underway as police reinforcements have been brought up to the area of the attack.

The troubled region sees frequent attacks on law enforcement officers and government officials as Moscow continues to battle an Islamist insurgency there. At least 12 militant groups with an estimated strength of about 300 people are believed to be operating in Dagestan.

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