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5 killed in shootout with militants in Russian region near Sochi

By: The Associated Press
January 15, 2014 Updated: January 15, 2014 at 7:40 am
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photo - Russian soldiers patrol the Battle of Stalingrad memorial in Volgograd, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Russian authorities ordered police to beef up security at train stations and other facilities across the country after a suicide bomber killed 14 people on a bus Monday in the southern city of Volgograd. It was the second deadly attack in two days on the city that lies just 400 miles (650 kilometers) from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
Russian soldiers patrol the Battle of Stalingrad memorial in Volgograd, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Russian authorities ordered police to beef up security at train stations and other facilities across the country after a suicide bomber killed 14 people on a bus Monday in the southern city of Volgograd. It was the second deadly attack in two days on the city that lies just 400 miles (650 kilometers) from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin) 

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — A shootout between security forces and militants in the volatile Russian region of Dagestan killed five people Wednesday, authorities said.

The gunbattle broke out after militants barricaded themselves inside a home in the village of Karlanyurt, Dagestan Investigative Committee spokesman Rasul Temirbekov told The Associated Press. The fatalities included three security force members and two militants. It wasn't immediately clear if there were other militants at the house.

The village is about 550 kilometers (340 miles) from Sochi, which will host the Winter Olympics from Feb. 7-23.

One of the slain militants, Marat Idrisov, was responsible for a handful of attacks on security officials and religious leaders in southern Russia, including a bombing that killed three in the city of Pyatigorsk, the National Anti-terrorism Committee said.

Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in the North Caucasus region, has been the epicenter of a simmering conflict between a growing Islamic insurgency and Russian security forces.

A top rebel leader in the North Caucasus has called on his followers to attack the Sochi Olympics, and Moscow has vowed to crack down on terrorist activity before the games.

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