Russia kills militants suspected of Christmas attack plan

By REUTERS
January 7, 2013 00:01

 
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MOSCOW - Russian security forces in a restive North Caucasus province on Sunday killed three militants suspected of planning attacks on church services during the Russian Orthodox Christmas holiday, authorities said.

Security forces tried to stop a van in the Kabardino-Balkaria province on Sunday but its occupants opened fire and were killed in the ensuing battle, during which the vehicle caught fire, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

It said that explosives, guns and ammunition were found in the van and that the men who were killed had been planning attacks on churches during services marking Russian Orthodox Christmas, which is on Monday.

Deadly exchanges of gunfire between police and suspected militants at road checkpoints are common in Russia's North Caucasus, a string of provinces hit by an Islamist insurgency rooted in two separatist wars in Chechnya.

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