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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Servicemen Clash in Grozny, 3 Dead

GROZNY -- A gun battle broke out between traffic police and a Defense Ministry unit in Grozny on Wednesday, leaving at least three people dead and five wounded, Chechen prosecutors said.

The shooting broke out on Grozny's western outskirts around 5:30 p.m. after traffic police stopped a car carrying soldiers from a special federal Defense Ministry unit called Zapad, prosecutors said in a statement.

Interfax, citing an unidentified official in the regional counterterrorism headquarters, said traffic police tried to test the soldier driving the car for drunkenness, but the soldier refused and called for help. The traffic officer also summoned reinforcements and the gun battle broke out, Interfax said.

Prosecutors said three people were killed. But a police officer who witnessed the flight but refused to give his name since he was not authorized to speak to the media, said that four were killed. RIA-Novosti, meanwhile, said five were killed and that up to 15 police and soldiers participated in the clash.

The fight is the latest to break out between competing law enforcement and military units in the North Caucasus. Last September, police from Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia clashed at a border checkpoint between the regions, sparking a gun battle that killed at least four people.

In Ingushetia, meanwhile, Several unidentified militants raided a police base early Wednesday, wounding at least three officers, officials said.

The attackers fired grenade launchers and assault rifles at the base and fled after an hour-long fight.