May 14, 2008 / 7:07 PM / 11 years ago

Gunmen kill 3 policemen in Russia's Ingushetia

NAZRAN, Russia, May 14 (Reuters) - Gunmen killed three policemen in the south Russian region of Ingushetia on Wednesday, a police source said.

Shootouts, bomb attacks and kidnappings have become an almost daily part of life in Ingushetia, a small, impoverished and mainly Muslim republic in the Caucasus mountains.

The source said the three policemen were found shot dead in a forested area outside Nazran.

Ingushetia borders Chechnya, where Russian soldiers have fought two wars since 1994 against rebels. But while a local Kremlin ally has reined in violence in Chechnya it has increased in Ingushetia.

Ingushi authorities blame Muslim radicals, both local and from Chechnya, for the attacks. Their opponents say the new bout of violence is a result of the local government’s ineffective and repressive policies.

On Tuesday security forces killed at least two rebels in a shootout. (Writing by James Kilner in Moscow; editing by Sami Aboudi)

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