At least six dead in clashes in Northern Caucasus

February 12th, 2009 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 12 (DPA) At least six people were killed in the conflict-torn Northern Caucasus Thursday when Russian special police tried to arrest suspected Islamist militants in the republic of Ingushetia.
An explosion during the clashes in the central Ingushetian city of Nazran led to the collapse of a residential building where the suspects were staying.

Four members of the Russian special unit (OMON) died and the bodies of two suspected rebels were found buried in the rubble, Interfax news agency reported, citing Ingushetian President Yunus Bek-Yevkurov.

The militants had been suspected of preparing suicide attacks.

The neighbouring building was also destroyed in the blast that occurred after a gunfight between the rebels and the security forces, Bek-Yevkurov said. The number of possible further casualties remained unclear.

The incident occurred after recent Russian government reports emphasizing tension in the region where Ingushetia borders on North Ossetia in the West and Chechnya in the East.

On Wednesday, Russian special forces had killed at least seven suspected Islamist militants in clashes in the nearby Russian North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

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