Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Russian forces kill three suspected militants in Caucasus - Ifax
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian security forces killed three suspected militants in the restive North Caucasus province of Kabardino-Balkaria on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported.
The suspected militants were killed when security forces fired on two cars whose drivers did not respond to demands to show identification documents, Interfax cited unidentified law enforcement officials as saying.
The report made no mention of any casualties among security forces. Police could not immediately be reached for comment and the account of the violence could not be independently confirmed.
Deadly exchanges of gunfire between police and suspected militants at road checkpoints are common in Russia's North Caucasus, a string of provinces hit by an Islamist insurgency rooted in two separatist wars in Chechnya.
Kabardino-Balkaria, west of Chechnya, is mostly Muslim but has a sizable Christian minority.
President Vladimir Putin's 13 years in power have been marred by violence in the North Caucasus, and attacks by the insurgents elsewhere, and he has called repeatedly for ethnic and religious peace during a new term that started last May.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)