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Seven insurgents, policeman die in Russia

07:40 Wed Apr 4 2012

Seven presumed insurgents and a policeman have been killed in two separate incidents in Russia's restive Caucasus where authorities are fighting radical separatists, officials say.

In Dagestan, a clash between interior ministry troops and rebels in a forest near the village of Kakirkent left three rebels and one policeman dead, the national anti-terrorist committee was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

In Ingushetia, a firefight erupted when police tried to stop a car in the main city of Nazran. The occupants of the vehicle opened fire at the officers, who answered in kind, killing the three men and one woman inside, the local investigative committee was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Russia is fighting a simmering Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus, mostly in Dagestan and Ingushetia, which see regular attacks that officials blame on militants seeking to establish an Islamic state across the region.