Three police officers have been shot dead by militants during a special operation in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, a police source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The first shootout occurred near the village of Khazhi-Yurt on Wednesday afternoon.
"A police officer was killed and another injured. One of the militants was killed when police returned fire," the source said.
In the second clash, which occurred some five hours later, two police were shot dead and a contract soldier was wounded.
Six militants were killed in the operation, which began on Wednesday. Their bodies are now being identified.
The operation is continuing, with about 20 militants surrounded in the mountainous area.
MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti)