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21 Mar, 2009 00:07

Five Russian soldiers killed in Dagestan

Five Russian servicemen have been killed and two wounded in the republic of Dagestan, in a clash with militants holed up in a cave.

“In two days of battles, a total of five people were killed. These are a radio operator gunner from a Mi-8 helicopter and four special troops,” Dagestani Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying. “Two more special troops were wounded.”

Up to seven militants were killed in the shootout. The operation is due to continue on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, in the republic's capital Makhachkala, four other militants died after troops opened fire on a suspicious car.

All of the dead were said to be members of another group of bandits.