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Azerbaijani Guards Kill One During Russian Border Shoot-Out

BAKU (Reuters) -- Azerbaijani border guards are searching for a group of people who opened fire on a border post when they illegally crossed the border from Russia, the Azerbaijani State Border Service has said.

One man was killed in an exchange of fire early on July 16 and grenades were thrown at the Azerbaijani guards, the border service said in a statement.

The rest of the group, estimated at six or seven people, then fled into nearby woods on the Azerbaijani side of the frontier.

Ex-soviet Azerbaijan shares a border with Russia's turbulent region of Daghestan, the scene of much of the recent violence in the North Caucasus.

The nationality of the dead man was not released, though he was neither Russian nor Azerbaijani, the border service said.

A border guard and an escapee were also wounded in the incident, which occurred at 3 a.m. local time (2200 GMT on July 15).

Azerbaijan's Prosecutor-General's Office has opened a formal investigation into attempted murder, unlawfully carrying weapons, and illegally crossing the border, the statement adds.