Moscow, March 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Five gunmen and two special forces officers were killed and six other officers were injured in Russia's volatile Dagestan region, officials said.
Police said the gunmen had been holed up in a house in Semender village since Wednesday.
A counterterrorism operation began after security forces entered the village to search for a suspected member of an illegal armed group.
On March 9, two gunmen were shot dead when a group of unidentified attackers opened fire at police in Mutsaul in Dagestan.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighbouring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.