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Chechen leader says 3 Islamist militants, 2 police killed in shoot-out

AFP , Monday 30 Jan 2017
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Three Islamic insurgents and two policemen were killed in a shoot-out following an attack on police in Russia's Chechnya region, strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Monday.

He said militants attacked a police post in Chali, a town about 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Grozny, during the night.

Two policemen and three assailants were killed during the fire-fight, Kadyrov was quoted as saying in a statement from his office. Two civilians were wounded.

Russia fought two brutal separatist wars over the past two decades in Chechnya but the region has been largely pacified under Kadyrov's iron-fisted rule.

A dwindling group of Islamist insurgents are still fighting the authorities in Chechnya and across the volatile North Caucasus and sporadically launch eye-catching attacks.

Fourteen security officers were killed when armed militants stormed several buildings in Grozny on the day of President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address in December 2014.

Rights activists and the opposition accuse Kadyrov of running Chechnya as his personal fiefdom, with kidnapping and torture widespread and little oversight from Moscow.

The Russian North Caucasus is one of the major sources of foreign militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The FSB security service last month said it had killed a regional "emir" of the Islamic State group in a raid.

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