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    Militants kill soldier in south Russia shootout

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    GROZNY, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - A soldier was killed in a clash with militants in a mountainous area in the south of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, a police source said on Monday.

    "The shootout occurred on Sunday afternoon, one kilometer from the village of Syuzhi in the Shatoi District," the official said. "Militants ambushed servicemen on a reconnaissance mission and opened fire. One contract serviceman was killed in the brief skirmish."

    The official said the attackers escaped, and that some may have suffered injuries.

    Many gunmen who are still active in the province, which saw two wars between separatists and government troops since the mid-1990s, are based in the mountainous south.

    The region is still plagued by frequent violence, although major fighting subsided several years ago, and the largely Muslim republic has undergone substantial reconstruction.

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