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Russia troops kill five North Caucasus rebels

Russian troops killed five rebel fighters holed up in a block of flats in the increasing restive North Caucasus region of Kabardino Balkaria, RIA Novosti reported on Saturday.
/ Source: Reuters

Russian troops killed five rebel fighters holed up in a block of flats in the increasing restive North Caucasus region of Kabardino Balkaria, RIA Novosti news agency reported Saturday.

The fighters, besieged overnight in a five-story residential building in the regional capital of Nalchik, were suspected of attacks on police, the news agency said.

The region has been largely untouched in recent years by the spreading violence in the North Caucasus but in recent weeks has seen a rise in clashes with police.

The Kremlin is struggling to contain a spreading Islamist insurgency in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, which is plagued by corruption, poverty and the ideology of global jihad.

Attacks have spread this month from the regions bordering Chechnya, where on-and-off clashes have continued for years, in the direction of the Black Sea resort region of Sochi, site of the 2014 Olympics.

On the eastern edge of the North Caucasus, RIA said, another five fighters were killed in a another siege in a rural district of neighboring Dagestan, where a regional election official died on Saturday of gunshot wounds sustained in an overnight attack.