A local warlord suspected of involvement in high-profile attacks in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria has reportedly been killed in a security operation.
The Russian National Antiterrorist Commitee (NAC) said special forces launched a search operation in a mountainous area of Kabardino-Balkaria's Urvan district after a group of armed men were spotted in the area.
A number of gunmen were killed in a subsequent firefight.
The NAC said one of those killed has been preliminary identified as Ruslan Makoyev, 28.
Makoyev's group has been blamed for a number of "terrorist acts" in Kabardino-Balkaria, including the murder last year of the rector of the Agrarian University, Boris Zherukov.
Zherukov was also a prominent lawmaker who led the ruling United Russia party's faction in the local legislature.
Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS