Police officers killed in anti-terror operation in Dagestan

At least five law enforcement officers have been killed and 16 others wounded during an anti-terror operation in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

The operation, which began on Tuesday, is aimed at eliminating a group of militants hiding in a forest in the Russian southern republic of Dagestan.

According to the republic’s interior ministry, on Wednesday the militants managed to break through the police units that had surrounded them in the village of Kuznetsovka, and escaped to the forest.

The officers are currently bombarding the forest with mortars. Helicopters, armored vehicles and tanks have arrived at the scene of the fighting. 

It is not yet known how many militants have been killed in the operation. Itar-Tass news agency is reporting five killed.

It is estimated that the total number of militants in hiding may reach up to 30 people.