Russia's Interior Ministry says Islamic insurgents have killed four Russian troops and wounded 16 as federal forces attempted to flush out a rebel hideout in a mountainous region of Chechnya.
The ministry said 16 troops and police have been wounded in the ongoing operation.
On January 8, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov gave an initial death toll of two soldiers and five wounded in an operation near the village of Tazen-Kala amid deep snow and thick fog.
Unconfirmed reports said four rebels had been killed, including one rebel who opened fire on police and was killed in a gunfight.
The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the North Caucasus since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
compiled from agency reports