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article imageDeadly shootout with terrorists in Russia kills Seven

By Rob Edens     Jan 16, 2014 in World
Khasavyurt - Four gunmen and three members of Russia's security forces were killed in a deadly shootout Wednesday during a sweep for Islamic militants.
Under the cover of darkness, militants opened fire with machine-guns and grenades in an attempt to escape the house in Karlanyurt, a Dagestani village in the region of the North Caucasus, where they had taken shelter. Television cameras captured the plumes of smoke rising above the house as the gun battle, which also wounded five other members of Russia's security forces, raged on.
Such raids are not rare in the region, where Russia has fought Islamic militants for years. After security forces surrounded the house, however, they were met with fierce resistance.
An improvised explosive device (IED), with the explosive power of 110lb of TNT, and a magnetic mine were found inside the house according to authorities.
Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee has also said that one of the gunmen killed, Marat Idrisov, was suspected of organizing a bomb attack that killed three and injured three more late last month in the Russian city of Pyatigorsk.
Wednesday's violence comes on the heels of the double suicide bombings that rocked the southern Russian city of Volgograd last month. The important industrial center lies some 1,000 miles from the Russian city of Sochi, where the Winter Olympic Games will begin next month. Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally staked much personal and political prestige on the success of the game.
Due to the sensitive political context of the recent violence, the government is on high alert and has deployed an important contingency of security forces in Sochi and around the country to combat terrorism.
The gun fight came the same day that Russia's Duma, the country's lower house of parliament, began debating legislation to broaden the powers of security services and increase their oversight of the Internet.
On Saturday, Russian security forces reported that they had arrested five members of a militant group in the same region and successfully defused a homemade bomb packed with shrapnel.
The predominately Muslim region has long been plagued by attacks targeting state and police officials as part of a continuing struggle to create an independent Islamic state. The insurgency is driven by a potent mix of fundamentalism and local grievances, including corruption and the authoritarian rule of pro-Moscow regional leaders.
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