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Four police killed in Russia’s Muslim North Caucasus

February 4, 2011

Reuters, 2 Feb 2011: Four policemen were killed on Wednesday when gunmen opened fire in a cafe in Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria province in Russia’s primarily Muslim North Caucasus region, Interfax reported citing investigators.

A decade after federal forces drove separatists out of power in the second of two wars in Chechnya, Moscow is struggling to contain a spreading Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus along its southern flank, where youths angry about poverty and fueled by the ideology of jihad (holy war) stage attacks.

The policemen were eating lunch at the cafe in the small town of Chegem, just west of the provincial capital Nalchik, when the gunmen opened fire, immediately killing four and wounding a fifth officer before stealing their weapons.

Russian authorities have blamed North Caucasus militants for the deadly attack on Moscow’s busiest airport last week, which killed 36 people and injured over 130, including foreigners.

Though Dagestan on the Caspian Sea is the epicenter of the violence, Kabardino-Balkaria has become increasingly more violent over the last year.

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