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Russia Says Five Suspected Militants Killed In Karacahayevo-Cherkessia

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Russian authorities say that five alleged militants have been killed in the North Caucasus region.

The armed suspects were killed in a shootout with Federal Security Service (FSB) forces and other law enforcement agencies in the Karachayevo-Cherkessia province, the National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said in a statement.

It said a senior militant was thought to be among the casualties.

Automatic weapons, ammunition, and explosive devices were recovered from the scene, authorities said.

The NAK statement said that members of the alleged militant group had pledged allegiance to the extremist group Islamic State and "planned to commit terror-related crimes in crowded places."

It was impossible to verify the accuracy of the statement, which followed recent claims by the FSB that it arrested militants plotting terror attacks in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

An Islamist insurgency stemming from two post-Soviet separatist wars spread from Chechnya to other mostly Muslim provinces in the North Caucasus, including Karachayevo-Cherkessia.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax