Three Russian police officers have been reported killed and six others injured in a gun battle with suspected Islamic militants along the Chechen-Daghestan border.
The Interfax news agency, citing a regional law enforcement official, reported that the fighting broke out after police discovered a group of insurgents in a forest on the evening of February 13.
Following the violence, government troops were reported to have moved into the area the next day to search for the militants.
Numerous Islamist and militant groups are believed to be active in the North Caucasus, and frequently clash with Russian government troops and law enforcement officers.
The violence on February 13 came the same day as a prominent mufti was reported killed in a car bombing in Pyatigorsk, the administrative center of Russia's North Caucasian Federal District.
Compiled from agency reports