Four Russian policemen killed in Ingushetia ambush

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants killed four Russian policemen in an ambush in the restive North Caucasus province of Ingushetia on Wednesday, Interfax news agency quoted a law-enforcement source as saying.

Ingushetia is plagued by attacks targeting police or officials attributed to an Islamist insurgency stemming from years of conflict in neighboring Chechnya, where Russian federal forces ousted a separatist government over a decade ago.

“As a result of a battle, four interior ministry personnel died on site from wounds, two more are hospitalized with varying severity of wounds,” Interfax quoted the source as saying.

The suspected militants managed to flee the site, the source also said, according to Interfax.

Militants in the North Caucasus say they are fighting for an Islamic state in the strip of provinces along Russia’s southern border. Rights activists say the insurgency is driven by poverty and anger at the heavy-handed tactics of the security forces.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Heinrich