3 security officials killed in shootout in Russia
MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) -- An official says three members of the security forces and two militants were killed in an ongoing shootout in the volatile Russian region of Dagestan.
Dagestan's Investigative Committee spokesman Rasul Temirbekov told The Associated Press on Wednesday that militants have barricaded themselves inside a home in the Dagestan village of Karlanyurt, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) from Sochi, which will host the Winter Olympic Games from Feb. 7-23.
Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia's volatile 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 ahead of the games.