( RIA Novosti ) - One serviceman and two gunmen have been killed and five other people injured in separate clashes in Russia's southern republic of Chechnya, a local police source said on Wednesday.
An instructor with a reconnaissance company was killed and a serviceman wounded during an encounter with an armed group in a wooded area in the southeastern district of Vedeno.
"An armed clash between servicemen and a militant group occurred on Tuesday. A reconnaissance company instructor was killed and a machine gunner wounded," a police source said.
He said two members of the militant group, numbering about 20, were killed and were being identified. The remaining fighters are being pursued.
In a separate incident near the village of Agishty, also in the southeast of the troubled republic, unknown gunmen launched grenades at a motorized division, injuring four servicemen. The troops returned fire. An investigation into the attack is under way.
In the past 24 hours, police in Chechnya have detained two suspected militants, believed to have been involved in terrorist attacks and kidnappings, a Chechen Interior Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Moscow has substantially scaled down the number of federal troops in the North Caucasus republic since two anti-terrorism campaigns, in 1994-1996 and 1999-2001. However, periodic bombings and clashes between insurgents and federal troops still disrupt Chechnya and nearby regions.