Conflict & Justice

Chechnya clash: Police officer killed, 14 injured in shootout


The Caucasus regions of Dagestan and Chechnya are home to dozens of ethnic groups, as well as a persistent Islamic insurgency. (Sergei Rasulov/News Team/GlobalPost)

Rebel forces killed a police officer and injured 14 others Saturday in a rare clash in the southern Shatoi district of Chechnya.

Police came upon the rebels during a special operation in the heavily forested, mountainous region and ordered them to drop their weapons, according to Reuters.

More from GlobalPost: Russia's North Caucasus militants: A primer

Instead, the militants opened fire.

Several of the officers suffered gunshot wounds. One of them died on the way to the hospital, Life News reported.

About 20 militants were discovered during the operation and were being pursued by security forces.

More from GlobalPost: North Caucasus: Russia kills 2 suspected militants

Russia's North Caucasus is one of the country's most troubled regions, and while Russian forces announced the end of anti-terrorism operations against rebels there in 2009, sporadic attacks in the region and beyond continue.

Two Russian soldiers were killed by an unidentified explosive blast in the area in April, RIA Novosti reported.

In recent years, the epicenter of violence has shifted to Russia's other mainly-Muslim North Caucasian republics of Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria, according to Russia Today.