Originally published at 04:49.
PYATIGORSK/MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - Two servicemen were killed and seven others injured in a shootout with suspected militants in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, Russia's Investigative Committee said Thursday.
The casualties occurred during a police search operation on Wednesday night in the southeastern region of Vedeno.
Officials are still investigating the incident, but a law enforcement source told RIA Novosti Thursday the armed group included six to eight men.
Investigators have opened a criminal case on charges of illegal possession of weapons and attempts on the life of a police officer, according to a statement from the Investigative Committee. The statement did mention, however, any suspects or arrests.
The news came amid large-scale public celebrations in Chechnya to mark Prophet Mohammed’s birthday. Police sources said no incidents were reported during celebrations in the republic’s capital Grozny.
The volatile, predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region has for years been plagued by a low intensity Islamic insurgency which targets security officials.
Updated with new casualty count and information from Investigative Committee.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: A down-to-earth person
Infographics: The Linguistic Diversity of the Planet
Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.