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Two Policemen Killed In Russia's North Ossetia

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gunmen firing from a car killed two Russian policemen in North Ossetia, Russian news agencies have reported, the latest in a string of violent attacks that have rocked Russia's volatile North Caucasus.

One policeman died when unknown attackers shot from a passing car at a roadblock outside North Ossetia's capital, Vladikavkaz, Interfax quoted a police source as saying.

Soon after, another policeman was killed when his vehicle was shot at by the same gunmen.

The RIA Novosti news agency said the attackers, armed with automatic rifles, must have encountered the second policeman as they fled from the scene of the first shooting.

A regional police spokesman contacted by Reuters declined to comment on the reports.

North Ossetia, along with the nearby regions of Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Daghestan, has become the scene of frequent bombings and ambushes by rebel gunmen, some of them linked to militant Islamists.

Last week, a sniper killed the mayor of Vladikavkaz, the most high-profile assassination of an official in years in the insurgency-rocked region.

Earlier in November, 11 people were killed in a blast outside a market in Vladikavkaz that was blamed on a female suicide bomber.

Vladikavkaz lies next to the town of Beslan, the scene of a 2004 siege in which more than 300 people were killed after their school was taken hostage by gunmen linked to a separatist rebellion in Chechnya.