Russian authorities say three suspected militants have been killed by security forces in the violence-plagued North Caucasus province of Daghestan.
Some Russian media reported that the dead could include Aliaskhab Kebekov -- the leader of the Caucasus Emirate, the main Islamic insurgent group in the region -- but there was no official confirmation or comment.
The Moscow-based National Antiterror Committee (NAK) said security forces surrounded a home in a village on the outskirts of Buinaksk, a city southwest of the Daghestani capital Makhachkala, on April 19.
It said the security forces launched an attack on gunmen holed up inside after several children were sent out of the building following negotiations.
Reports said the operation resumed after dawn on April 20 after a pause overnight, but it was not immediately clear whether fighting continued.