News in Brief

3 Police Shot in N. Caucasus



Three policemen were shot and killed early Tuesday in Baksan, a small town in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Interfax reported.

"Criminals attacked a highway patrol post situated in the so-called Baksan circle and shot dead three members of the police with an automatic weapon," police told Interfax.

It is unclear if the attack was linked to a wider low-intensity rebellion across the North Caucasus or to local criminal groups. (Reuters)




Suspected Militant Killed



GROZNY -- Police killed a suspected Islamic militant holed up on the third floor of a dilapidated apartment building in the Chechen capital of Grozny, security officers said Tuesday.

Two officers were wounded in Tuesday's skirmish after dozens of federal troops and police had surrounded the building in Grozny, police said.

The 22-year-old man killed in the operation had been detained previously for suspected membership in an Islamic group, police said. (AP)




Cops Detained for Extortion



Two senior anti-organized crime police officials in the Moscow region have been detained on suspicion of trying to extort $5,000 from a Khimki woman, the regional Investigative Committee branch said Tuesday.

Gennady Ivanov, a senior official with the anti-organized crime department of the Moscow region police, and senior investigator Alexei Baskanov were detained Thursday at their offices in Khimki, a spokeswoman for the Moscow region branch of the Investigative Committee said.

Ivanov, 40, and Baskanov, 41, are suspected of demanding 120,000 rubles ($5,100) from a woman in exchange for dropping drug-dealing charges against her son, she said. (MT)




Defense Bill Tops 1 Trillion



Defense budget allocations for 2009 will exceed 1 trillion rubles ($42.5 billion), Lyubov Kudelina, head of the Defense Ministry's finance department, told the Federation Council's defense and security committee Tuesday, Interfax reported. (MT)