ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) - A Russian official says four police officers and four suspected militants have been killed in fighting in Chechnya.
Magomed Deniyev, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's branch in Chechnya, said Saturday that a series of clashes between police and the rebels in the past two days in the southern Vedeno region also left 11 police officers wounded.
After two separatist wars in Chechnya, the insurgency there has been largely suppressed by a Kremlin-backed local strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, although law enforcement officers periodically clash with small groups of gunmen.
But Islamic militancy also has spilled into other provinces in the North Caucasus region, with frequent shootings, bombings and police security raids.
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