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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Soldiers, 4 Insurgents Killed Near Gudermes

Two soldiers and four insurgents died in a gunfight in Chechnya on Tuesday just two days after Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the conflict was over.

A federal military spokesman said the shootout happened near Gudermes, hometown of Moscow-backed Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov.

"We have identified two of the rebels and are working on the identities of the other two," the spokesman said. He said soldiers had attacked rebels who were hiding in a trench.

Ivanov told a meeting of global security chiefs in Munich on Sunday that Chechnya was an example of how countries could defeat terrorism.

"I think we have scored a success in Chechnya," Ivanov said, Interfax reported. "The problem has been solved and it has taken five years to do this. It is a small territory compared with Afghanistan or Iraq."

But Chechen separatists, many of whom say they are fighting in the name of Islam, are able to launch attacks on government forces from their mountain hideouts.

On Sunday, a roadside bomb killed two soldiers in Dagestan.

Also Tuesday, the European Union announced it had set up a 20 million euro ($26 million) recovery-and-development program in Chechnya and the nearby regions of Ingushetia and North Ossetia to boost health care and education sectors and support income-generating activities.

As part of the program that is being conducted together with the United Nation's Children's Fund and the World Health Organization, the EU will assist in training medical and educational staff and provide medical equipment.

The North Caucasus regions suffer from poverty, high unemployment and poor infrastructure.

(Reuters, AP)