[QODLink]
Europe
Deaths in Russia gun battles
Clashes leave four policemen and 10 fighters dead in North Caucasus's Dagestan region.
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2010 08:27 GMT
Armed Muslim groups thrive in the North Caucasus, with its high unemployment and poverty [Reuters]

Four policemen and 10 fighters have been killed in clashes in Dagestan, a part of Russia's predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region.

The policemen died, together with six of the fighters, in an exchange of gunfire outside a house near the city of Derbent on the Caspian Sea.

The gun battle erupted after the men refused to surrender their weapons, Russia's Federal Investigative Committee said.

The other four fighters died, and a policeman was injured, in a clash in the centre of Derbent overnight, local investigators said.

in depth

  North Caucasus: A history of violence
  Timeline: Attacks in Russia
  Videos:
  Chechen exile sees violent response
  Russia accuses Chechen female group
  Dagestan's struggle for peace
  Inside Story: Behind the Moscow bombings
  People and Power: Ingushetia- A second Chechnya?

Fighters belonging to anti-government Muslim groups have been staging almost daily attacks in the North Caucasus - most of them in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya.

The region is the site of two separatist wars with Moscow since the mid-1990s.

Many want to carve out their own version of an Islamic pan-Caucasus state that is separate from Russia.

Twin suicide bombings on the Moscow metro in March which killed 40 people turned the global spotlight on the region.

Authorities blamed the attacks on two women from Dagestan.

Wednesday's attacks bring the total of deaths to at least 30 in June across the North Caucasus.

Late on Wednesday, Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's leader, said at least one fighter was found dead after fighting in mountain woods in the region's south.

Though the Kremlin pours billions of dollars into the North Caucasus, where unemployment in some regions is as high as 50 per cent, government and religious leaders say many youths are still turning to join the revolt.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.