Russian forces kill three suspected rebels in Dagestan shootout

Reuters News
Posted: May 30, 2013 8:14 AM
Russian forces kill three suspected rebels in Dagestan shootout

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (Reuters) - Russian special forces killed three suspected insurgents on Thursday in a private house in the restive Republic of Dagestan, security officials said.

A group of suspected militants were surrounded in the house near Khasavyurt, 90 km (56 miles) west of the regional capital Makhachkala, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement.

A woman with a six-month-old baby was allowed to leave the building, but three rebels refused to surrender and were killed in a shootout, Interfax quoted a security source as saying.

Car bombs, suicide bombings and firefights are common in Dagestan, at the center of an insurgency rooted in two post-Soviet wars against separatist rebels in neighboring Chechnya.

A powerful twin bombing in the republic killed four people and wounded dozens earlier this month.

An ethnically mixed, mostly Muslim region between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea, Dagestan has become the most violent province in the North Caucasus, where insurgents say they are fighting to carve out an Islamic state out of southern Russia.

The main suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in the United States, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, lived in Dagestan with his family about a decade ago and visited the region last year.

(Additional reporting by Lyudmila Danilova; Writing by Alexei Anishuk; Editing by Elizabeth Piper and Sonya Hepinstall)