Russian security forces say they have killed two suspected militants during a gun battle in a volatile region of Russia’s North Caucasus. Ruslan Ibragimgadzhiev, a Russian Interior Ministry spokesman in the southern province of Dagestan, said two men shot at police when they were stopped in the town of Khasavyurt and were killed in the resulting firefight.
Mainly Muslim Dagestan is the principal breeding ground for Islamic militants in Russia and sees regular attacks on police and officials. Russia fought two bloody separatist wars in the neighboring province of Chechnya after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. Some militants in Dagestan and other parts of the North Caucasus have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group.