"Islamic State" has said it attacked two police outposts in Chechnya, with several police officers wounded. The predominantly Muslim southern Russian region has seen a spate of attacks by the jihadi group.
Investigators inspect a car that was allegedly used to attack police in the regional capital, Grozny
Two policemen were wounded and five militants killed on Monday in the Chechnyan town of Shali and several traffic police officers injured in the capital Grozny, Chechnya's regional head, Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on his official Telegram social networking account.
"The bandits have been neutralized," Kadyrov said. "The situation in Grozny and Chechnya is absolutely calm," he added.
Police in the North Caucasus region said two men armed with knives had attempted to enter the Shali district police department and "inflicted wounds on two police employees on duty." They were subsequently shot dead.
Dzhambulat Umarov, information minister in the regional government, told the Tass news agency that the attackers were aged between 11 and 16.
News agencies cited unnamed sources saying an assailant ran over three traffic policemen in his car.
Another "Islamic State" (IS) militant launched a suicide attack in the capital Grozny, injuring several policemen, Kadyrov said in the statement.
The assailant had attempted a suicide bombing but failed, Kadyrov said.
Russian news agencies also reported an attack in the village of Mesker-Yurt, outside Shali, in which an attacker blew himself up near a police checkpoint.
IS claims responsibility
IS claimed responsibly for the attacks, the SITE monitoring group reported, citing the jihadis' propaganda agency, Amaq.
"Fighters from the Islamic State attacked Chechen police officers and elements in Grozny and Shali in Mesker-Yurt," Amaq said.
Radical Islamists, some with allegiance to IS, still conduct raids in Chechnya.
Chechnya is overwhelmingly Muslim, but also part of the secular Russian Federation. The republic of 1.4 million People has seen two wars of secession in the past 20 years. Under Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, it has seen a process of Islamization in recent years.
Chechnya's interior minister Ruslan Alkhanov said the assailants "attempted to destabilize the situation in Chechnya" but have been stopped.
jbh/rc (AP, AFP)