MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) – Anti-terrorism officials say police in Russia’s turbulent republic of Dagestan killed two armed men in a firefight Friday morning and later detected a trove of explosives and weapons in their car.
The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement that traffic police tried to pull over a car in the city of Khasavyurt at about 7:50 a.m., and that the passengers reacting by opened fire.
In the ensuing shootout, the two militants were killed and one Interior Ministry officer was wounded.
Police found two 50-liter barrels full of homemade explosives in the car, as well as other bomb-making materials, weapons and ammunition, according to the statement.
Violent clashes between militant groups and law enforcement officials are a frequent occurrence in Dagestan and its neighboring republic Chechnya, which was the scene of a series of bloody post-Soviet separatist wars that formally ended over a decade ago.
Russian security forces still regularly clash with militants in the North Caucasus who stage frequent attacks on security forces, police and civilians, driven by ethnic, religious and political rivalries, as well as poverty and corruption.