Saturday, May 24, 2014 12:31 pm
Russian security forces on Saturday killed five militants in a firefight in the violence-plagued North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, news agencies reported.
The militants were, according to AFP, surrounded in a house early Saturday in the village of Sagopshi and a gunfight broke out after they refused to surrender their weapons, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported, quoting local security services.
They said five militants were killed, along with a policeman and his wife who had been harbouring them. There was no information on casualties among security forces.
Ingushetia leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said the militants had been involved in last year’s killing of top regional security official Akhmed Kotiev.
Kotiev, head of Ingushetia’s Security Council, was killed last August when gunmen opened fire on his car in an attack that also claimed the life of his driver.
“Security forces are actively working to identify members of armed groups responsible not only for attacks on the Security Council but on law enforcement officials and other citizens,” Yevkurov told Interfax.
“If they do not give themselves up, they will be hunted down and destroyed,” he said.
As in other largely Muslim regions of Russia’s North Caucasus including Chechnya and Dagestan, the pro-Kremlin authorities in Ingushetia have been fighting an Islamist-tinged insurgency that claims dozens of lives every year