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Russian government troops kill militants in North Caucasus

At least 10 people have been killed in a two-day anti-terrorism operation ordered by the Kremlin. Tensions in the North Caucasus region are still high following January's bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

russian special forces

Russian troops killed the suspected militants

Russian soldiers have killed at least 10 suspected militants in the turbulent north Caucasus region during a two-day anti-terrorism operation, officials said on Friday.

Eight men and two women were shot dead by special forces troops on Thursday along the border of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria and the southern Stavropol province, according to an Interfax news agency.

A further six Islamic militants were killed during a security sweep by Russian troops in the neighboring Republic of Dagestan.

The attacks are part of an intensified campaign by the Kremlin to eliminate anti-government rebels in the North Caucasus region, which has long been called upon to become an independent emirate by Islamic extremists.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced in 2002 that attacks against mostly ethnic Chechen fighters were "over," but anti-government troops have continued to wage a low-intensity guerrilla war against the Russian military.

Tensions in the conflict escalated in January after 36 people were killed in a terror bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo airport. A militant Islamic suicide bomber was accused of the attack.

No Russian casualties were reported in the two-day raids.

Author: Christian Nathler (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

Editor: Sean Sinico

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