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Russian officials say at least seven people have been killed in separate clashes between Russian-backed troops and militants across the North Caucasus.

In Chechnya, three members of the security forces reportedly were shot dead in their cars and three civilians were injured in separate ambushes.

In Daghestan, two police officers and two militants were killed in firefights.

Also, in Ingushetia, militants blew up a gas pipeline, though no one was injured.

Islamist militants across the North Caucasus have been fighting Russian forces for years, some with the aim of establishing an independent Islamic state.

compiled from agency reports
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