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10 Jun, 2009 01:32

Dagestan hit by violence hours after Medvedev visit

A counter terrorism operation is about to get underway in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan. The move comes after a police station's come under attack just hours after President Medvedev visited the region.

”Policemen managed to disperse the armed gang. The gun attack has been stopped,” a source in the police station in the Karabadahkentsky area of Dagestan was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

The source said that the attack, carried out by 10 armed militants, was repelled after special forces intervened. Also, off-duty policemen rushed to the station to help their colleagues.

Officers said the station came under fire at about midnight local time; the attack lasted for an hour and was carried out by militants with machine guns and rifles.

Police and suspected insurgents are killed on an almost daily basis in the troubled Southern republic of Dagestan.

Minutes before the latest attack, a road police officer was killed in the Kizlyarsky area of the republic. The officer was shot dead during an attempt to stop a car carrying militants.

Several hours earlier another police officer had been killed in a shooting incident only five kilometers north of a base where Medvedev had observed counter-terrorism exercises as part of his visit to the republic.

The Russian president’s visit to Dagestan was aimed at bolstering security after the recent killing of Dagestan's Interior Minister.