MOSCOW (Reuters) - Security forces killed seven Islamist militants in Russia's turbulent southern region of Dagestan, news agencies quoted its top anti-terror agency as saying on Monday.
Russian forces launched an offensive in Dagestan late last week against militants who aim to carve an Islamic state from Russia's mostly Muslim southern flank.
"As a result of a detailed survey of the conflict zones near the village of Tsvetkova, the bodies of seven members of insurgent groups were found," Itar-Tass quoted a statement from Russia's chief anti-terror agency as saying.
Those killed likely included a militant of Turkish origin, whose death news agencies reported on Sunday.
Dagestan has become the epicenter of insurgent violence that has spread across the North Caucasus after two separatist wars in nearby Chechnya.
Islamist insurgents claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport that killed 37 people in January 2011 and twin bombings that killed 40 people in the Moscow metro in 2010.
Russian authorities last week said that they had foiled a plot to attack the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, part of the region militants are fighting for.
(Reporting By Thomas Grove; Editing by Mark Heinrich)