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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Are Killed in Clashes in Chechnya, Dagestan

MAKHACHKALA -- A gunbattle erupted during a police sweep in Dagestan on Monday, killing at least one gunman and wounding another, police officials said.

Authorities were searching for two other gunmen who fled following the operation in Buinaksk, about 30 kilometers southwest of the regional capital, Makhachkala, said Abdul Muksayev, a spokesman for the Dagestani Interior Ministry.

The shootout erupted after police pursued the gunmen through the town before hiding in a house, said Angela Martirosova, another Interior Ministry spokeswoman. One gunman was killed and another was captured after being wounded.

State-run television showed footage with two men appearing to be investigators examining a bloodied body and a Kalashnikov rifle. Russian news reports quoted local police officials as saying the gunmen were members of a criminal gang.

The republic is regularly troubled by attacks on law enforcement and local government officials.

Meanwhile, Chechen police killed a wanted militant during an operation that also left two officers dead, said Roman Shchekotin, a federal Interior Ministry spokesman. A third officer was wounded in the gunbattle Sunday near the eastern city of Gudermes, he said. Several other gunmen managed to escape, he said. The dead militant was identified as Lecha Askhabov.

Also Sunday, gunmen opened fire on an Interior Ministry checkpoint in the southern Vedeno district, wounding one serviceman, the Chechen Interior Ministry said.

Federal forces and separatist rebels have been fighting in Chechnya for most of the past decade. There are near-daily skirmishes or explosions, although some of the violence is blamed on criminal gangs.

Separately, a former soldier wielding a knife attacked two soldiers on guard duty Sunday outside a Defense Ministry base in the Shatoi district of southern Chechnya, the regional Interior Ministry said. The attacker, who was allegedly trying to seize the guards' guns, was shot dead after he wounded one of sentries.