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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Three die in Dagestan gun battle
Two gunmen and a policeman have been killed in a gun battle in the Dagestan region of Russia's North Caucasus.

The two militants were holed up in a block of flats in the town of Kizilyurt and were killed when special forces stormed the building, police said.

The authorities say the gunmen had been planning to seize a school. A diagram of a school was found on one of them.

Dagestan has seen sporadic attacks on security forces by local militants, often backed by Chechen fighters.

Russia's Itar-Tass news agency said the two militants killed on Tuesday had been on a federal list of "criminals wanted for terrorism". One was described as a sniper.

An attack on Dagestan by Chechen-led gunmen in 1999 was used by Moscow as part of its justification for sending Russian troops back into Chechnya to oust the separatist government there.

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