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Gunmen kill two policemen in Russia’s troubled Dagestan

Russian Police. PHOTO: REUTERS

Unknown gunmen have shot dead two policemen in Russia’s volatile Caucasus in the latest attack against local authorities, police said on Saturday.

Assailants driving a Lada shot at a car carrying three traffic police outside the Dagestani town of Kizilyurt late Friday and fled, a police spokesman told AFP.

“Two people died,” he said, adding that a third policeman received no injuries.

The spokesman said it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, adding an operation was under way to catch the gunmen.

Dagestan lies east of Chechnya where Russian authorities battled separatists in two brutal wars, first in 1994-1996 and then in 1999-2000.

After the defeat of Chechen insurgents, Russian authorities have been locked in a simmering conflict with Islamist militants from across the North Caucasus that has killed scores of civilians and police.

Islamist militants from Dagestan are known to have travelled to join the Islamic State group in Syria. In 2015, the group declared it had established a “franchise” in the North Caucasus.

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