Russia says special forces kill 2 rebels in south

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MAKHACHKALA, Russia, Oct 9 (Reuters) Russian special forces yesterday killed two rebels and arrested another during a house siege in Makhachkala, capital of the south Russian republic of Dagestan, the interior ministry said today.

Two wars between Russian soldiers and rebels in the Muslim republic of Chechnya have scarred the north Caucasus region and fighting has spread to the neighbouring republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Local Dagestani police and federal special forces have raided a handful of rebel houses this year in Makhachkala and more frequently in towns to the west, nearer the Chechen border.

A bomb in June killed four policemen as they exercised in a school yard and a number of officials have been assassinated, although it is not clear if these killings are linked to local feuds or rebel activity.

REUTERS ARB HS1408

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