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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Interior Ministry: Army Office in Grozny Attacked

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Gunmen fired grenades at a military commandant's office in Grozny on Monday, wounding at least five servicemen, the Interior Ministry said, but Chechen officials reportedly pinned the shooting on federal servicemen.

The Interfax-Military News Agency cited unnamed Chechen law enforcement sources as saying that the shooting resulted from careless handling of a grenade launcher by a Russian serviceman. Twelve servicemen, one policeman and two civilians were injured, it said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Alexei Polyansky, however, described the shooting as an attack on the commandant's office, which is located in a heavily guarded district of Grozny. He said that the gunmen had wounded five servicemen and escaped quickly, possibly by car.

Sergei Kozhemyaka, a duty officer at the southern branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Rostov-on-Don, said eight people had been wounded in the attack, including two women. All eight were hospitalized, he said.

The varying accounts of the incident underlined the fractious nature of law enforcement in Chechnya, where responsibility and blame is divided among numerous, often rival Chechen and federal agencies.

Meanwhile, Interior Ministry troops in Dagestan killed three militants and captured two others who had holed up in a house in the Khasavyurt district, close to the Chechen border, said Khabib Magomedov of the ministry's press service. Khabib said one of the dead militants was an Arab.

Itar-Tass reported that a 7-year-old girl, the daughter of the house's owner, was killed. The Interior Ministry did not immediately comment on the report.

Later in the day, Dagestani Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Musayev said federal forces were fighting militants in Khasavyurt.