More clashes in Russia's North Caucasus kill 5
A Chechen terrorist group with ties to the late warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attack on a North Caucasus regional leader that killed three, according to a statement posted on a rebel-linked Web site Sunday.

Interior Ministry troops patrolling a village south of the Dagestani regional capital Makhachkala clashed with a group of 10 gunmen who tried to hole up in village houses Saturday, but were driven into surrounding hillsides, ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said. A police officer was killed.

Officials then called in helicopter gunships and armored vehicles to shell the forests where the gunmen hid out. Troops sweeping the forest Sunday morning found the bodies of four gunmen, Tolchinsky said.

Earlier this month, gunmen killed Dagestan's top law enforcement official as he stood outside a wedding banquet in Makhachkala.
Posted by: ed 2009-06-28