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Five Killed As Violence Flares Up In South Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Four Russian security officials were killed in explosions and a shoot-out with suspected Islamic militants in the North Caucasus region of Daghestan, Itar-Tass news agency reported on August 10.

A suspected Islamist also died in the shootout with police who had stopped a car carrying three people in a rural area to check documents. Two policemen were killed and one seriously wounded in the incident, a police official said.

Another policeman was killed and two wounded later on August 10 when a bomb went off near a police station in the southeastern town of Derbent, a spokesman for local prosecutors said.

An explosion on a road outside Derbent killed a border guard and wounded a colleague traveling with him in a car, a spokesman for local prosecutors said.

As security in the neighboring republic of Chechnya has improved, instability has worsened elsewhere in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus and attacks against authorities by Islamic insurgents have increased.

Analysts say deep-rooted corruption and widespread poverty push many young men to join the ranks of insurgents.