Shootout in Caucasus claims six lives
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At least five armed rebels and one police officer were killed Tuesday during a raid on a suspected guerrilla hideout on the fringes of Russia's conflict-torn northern Caucasus, news reports said.
The shootout occurred near the Stavropol region's border with Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, a Muslim-majority region in the foothills of the North Caucasus mountains.
The "special operation" began Tuesday morning and lasted about five hours, an Interior Ministry official said.
The rebels returned fire after being detected by the Russian troops, killing one police officer in injuring three others, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the official as saying.
Umarov and his small group of well-armed guerrillas have been based in the North Caucasus mountains for much of the past decade.
Two suicide blasts killed at least two people in Dagestan, also in the north Caucasus, on Monday evening.