September 5, 2012 / 10:32 AM / 7 years ago

Militants kill 5 Russian soldiers in Caucasus

NAZRAN, Russia (Reuters) - Militants attacked a convoy of Russian interior ministry troops in the violence-plagued North Caucasus province of Ingushetia on Wednesday, killing five soldiers, police said.

The attackers set off explosions as the convoy was passing and then opened fire with guns and grenade launchers, the regional Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers died at the scene and one of two who were wounded died in hospital, it said.

Russia is battling a persistent insurgency in the North Caucasus, more than a decade after federal forces ousted a separatist government in Chechnya, adjacent to Ingushetia, in the second of two devastating post-Soviet wars there.

Rebels carry out numerous attacks on police, security forces, government officials and mainstream Muslim leaders in the region along Russia’s southern edge.

Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Tim Pearce

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