Chechen police AP 311.
(photo credit: AP)
At least six people were killed in Chechnya on Tuesday as groups of insurgents stormed two government buildings in Russia's volatile region, Russian news agencies reported. Four insurgents and two others were believed to be among the dead.
Russian police spokesman Ramzan Bekkhoyev said there were at least four militants, one of whom blew himself up, killing two security guards at the complex in Grozny, the provincial capital.
One group of insurgents set off an explosive device at the entrance of the parliament complex in Grozny, while two others ran into the building, sparking a shootout with police, RIA Novosti reported, citing a law enforcement source.RELATED:Insurgents, police clash in PakistanThree killed, 50 injured in 'attempted coup' in Ecuador
A separate group of attackers stormed the Ministry of Agriculture building, where they are fighting off police, Itar-Tass reported, citing a ministry source.
There have been conflicting reports regarding the status of the attackers and regarding whether there have been any hostages taken.
Interfax reported shots in the office of the parliament's speaker, Dukuvakh Abdurakhmanov, but later said that he had been safely evacuated.
The Russian interior ministry declined to confirm reports of the shootout. Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev is in the Chechen capital and holding talks with Kadyrov about violence in the region.
Restive Chechnya in the Russian North Caucasus has been battling an Islamist insurgency for years despite the iron rule of its Moscow-backed president, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Russia fought two wars with Chechen separatists in the 1990s before finally installing a loyal government there in 2000.
Since then, most of the Islamist insurgents have moved over into the
neighboring Russian republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia, with terrorist
attacks seldom striking at the heart of Grozny in recent years.
But in August a shootout
between Kadyrov's security service officers and suspected insurgency
left 19 people dead, including 5 civilians, in his home village of
Tsentoroi, raising fears of a reviving insurgency.