Five militants killed in Russia
Moscow, March 17 : Five militants have been killed in a special operation on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia, two volatile regions in Russia's North Caucasus, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.
Special forces of the Russian interior ministry and Federal Security Service blocked a gang of 15 gunmen in the mountains. Five of the gang were killed in an attempt to break through the police cordon, firing machine guns and grenade launchers, the committee said.
"They were killed by return fire. The bodies are being identified," the committee said.
Security forces suffered no losses.
According to Russian Federal Security Service chief Alexander Bortnikov, more than 50 militants, including 15 gang leaders, were killed in the North Caucasus since the start of the year.
The North Caucasus region is home to a predominantly Islamic population. It has been the scene of over two decades of separatist insurgency, with Islamist fighters involved in frequent attacks on federal authorities.