instability in elbrus region
- Categorized in: 7 Summits Blog
Six militants and one member of Russia's security forces were killed in a gunfight on Friday on forested slopes near the North Caucasus' most popular ski resort, Mount Elbrus, the authorities said.
Russia is struggling to curb an Islamist insurgency in its mountainous southern flank, where suicide bombings and targeted killings have become a near daily occurrence.
The violence has spread in recent years from Chechnya, where the Kremlin has fought two wars against separatist rebels since 1994, to nearby mainly Muslim regions such as Kabardino Balkaria -home to Elbrus, Europe's tallest peak.
Russia's National Counter Terrorism Committee was cited by news agencies saying the militants were killed in a security operation in woods by a highway where three Moscow tourists were shot by suspected rebels en route to Elbrus in February.
The shooting shocked ordinary Russians and officials alike who had seen Elbrus as an oasis of calm in the North Caucasus.
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