Police Kill 4 Suspects in Grozny

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Heavily armed police attacked a home in Grozny early Tuesday, killing four suspected militants, including the alleged leader of a rebel group, law enforcement authorities said.

Another suspected militant was killed in a separate exchange of gunfire in the center of Grozny late Monday, Chechnya's Interior Ministry said.

Tuesday's assault in the city's violent Lenin district came after police surrounded a home where the suspected militants had been living. According to the Interior Ministry, the occupants of the home answered a surrender demand by opening fire, and all four were killed in the ensuing gunbattle.

A riot police officer was wounded, the ministry said.

State-run television showed flames pouring from the gutted, single-story structure after the attack.

The Interior Ministry said one of the dead gunmen was Uvais Tachiyev, 25, whom it identified as the leader of a militant group responsible for attacks on police, military forces and local officials in Chechnya. Tachiyev was on a federal wanted list, the ministry said.

"We've finished off this gang," Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said in televised remarks.

A stash of weapons were found in the house, including an RPG-7 grenade launcher, three Kalashnikov assault rifles, a Makarov pistol with a silencer, four grenade-launcher projectiles, five grenades and more than 380 cartridges of different caliber ammunition, Itar-Tass reported.