[QODLink]
Europe
Deadly clashes rock Russian region
Gun battle on Karachayeva-Stavropol border stirs fears that violence is spreading across ethnically divided Caucasus.
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 20:19 GMT
Much of the violence in the Caucasus region so far has been confined to Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia [AFP]

At least 12 deaths have been reported in the Caucasus region of southern Russia amid fighting between suspected separatists and security forces.

A group of seven armed men - and three police officers - were killed in a raid on Tuesday at an abandoned farm on the border between Karachayeva-Cherkessia and Stavropol provinces in the western part of the region, Sergei Kulik, a police spokesman, revealed.

The suspects were believed to be behind an attack on a police car earlier this month, in which three officers were killed.

Violence in the province is less frequent than in neighbouring Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya, where deadly attacks take place almost daily.

Separately, two suspected suicide bombers were reportedly killed on Tuesday in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, after police, acting on a tip-off, confronted the pair.

There were conflicting reports emerging whether they were shot by police, or detonated explosive belts.

No police officers were injured there, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, said.

Ethnic strife

The gun battle on the Karachayeva-Stavropol border has stirred fears that violence continues to spread across the ethnically divided Caucasus.

The epicentre of attacks continues to be in Dagestan, where two suicide bombers killed four and injured 27 on Monday night.

One of the bombers behind the attack in the Dagestan mountain village of Gubden has been identified as Marina Khorosheva, a young Russian woman linked to a failed suicide attack in Moscow's Red Square on December 31.

She and her husband, Vitaly Razdobudko, had aroused media interest as Orthodox Christians who converted to Islam - leading press to dub them "the Russian Wahhabi".

Samples of the second bomber's body has been sent for DNA analysis, said police, who said they could not confirm it had been Razdobudko behind the attack.

"For now, this is nothing more than speculation, because the suicide bomber's body was blown to bits," a police spokesman said.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
join our mailing list