Russian authorities say two alleged militants from the so-called Islamic State (IS) extremist group have been killed in the country's southern Stavropol region that borders the mainly Muslim-populated North Caucasus.
Russia's National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said on March 14 that the armed suspects were killed in a shoot-out overnight in the region's Shpak district near the village of Balki.
According to the NAK, the two gunmen were natives of the Volgograd region and had arrived in the Stavropol region with plans to carry out a series of terrorist attacks.
The NAK also said that the two men were shot dead after they refused police orders to stop a car they were traveling in and, instead, opened fire on the police.
Islamic militants in Russia's North Caucasus region, and sometimes in adjacent areas, have mounted frequent attacks on police, moderate Muslims, and local officials.
Some militants there have posted videos online in which they have sworn allegiance to the IS.
Russian authorities have estimated that some 2,000 Russian citizens have fought alongside IS militants in Syria.