Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 17:05 UK

Five policemen killed in Dagestan

Dagestan map
Dagestan is one of several restive regions in the Russian Caucasus

At least five Russian police officers have been killed and several others injured in a battle with rebels in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan.

One officer was killed and three injured when rebels opened fire on their car in a wooded area, a spokesman for Russia's interior ministry said.

Militants then ambushed the police search party, killing another four officers and wounding six.

Police are combing the area to find the attackers, a police source said.

The incident happened 45km (28 miles) south-west of the capital, Makhachkala.

Located on the Caspian sea bordering Chechnya, Dagestan has long been plagued by violence often linked to the Chechen rebel movement.

Russia blames Islamist militants and criminal gangs for the unrest in the region.

Regions and territories: Dagestan
12 Mar 08 |  Country profiles
'Six militants die' in Dagestan
10 Jan 08 |  Europe

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific