Source AP ©

Police raid house in troubled Russian region

Police troops broke into a house in the capital of Russia's troubled region of Dagestan on Monday, killing seven militants.

The raid was the latest in a string of standoffs between police and armed groups in the region, which borders violence-wracked Chechnya.

Police forces had blockaded the house in Makhachkala before dawn, after receiving reports that an armed gang was holed up there. The head of the Dagestani division of the Federal Security Service, General-Major Vyacheslav Shanshin said seven militants were confirmed killed and police were still searching for more bodies.

Russian TV showed heavy armored vehicles and soldiers moving through neighborhoods as gunfire and explosions crackled in the background.

Police earlier detained a gunman wanted in connection with an attack on Interior Ministry troops earlier this month that wounded several soldiers.

Meanwhile, police stormed an apartment building in a different part of Makhachkala, looking for another armed gang, said Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky. It was unclear whether the two gunbattles were connected to one another.

Like other regions in Russia's troubled North Caucasus, Dagestan has been increasingly plagued by violence stemming from feuding criminal gangs and insurgent activity spreading from neighboring Chechnya.

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