Russia said on Sunday it had killed 11 fighters linked to the extremist Daesh group in a special operation in its volatile North Caucasus region.
“According to preliminary information, 11 bandits have been neutralised,” Russia’s national anti-terrorism committee said in a statement quoted by TASS news agency.
“All of them were participants in an armed gang whose members swore loyalty to Daesh.”
The fighters opened fire on law enforcement officers and threw grenades after they were cornered in a wooded area outside the city of Nalchik in the Kabardino-Balkaria region, the anti-terrorism committee said.
The security operation has now ended, authorities said.
Those killed had sworn allegiance to Daesh this year, a source in the region’s law enforcement authorities told RIA Novosti news agency.
Earlier this month, Russia said it had killed the supposed head of a Daesh-linked gang in Kabardino-Balkaria, saying he vowed allegiance to Daesh this spring and organised the murders of several officials, gunning down one in front of his son.
Kabardino-Balkaria is seen as one of the more peaceful parts of Russia’s North Caucasus.
Extremists in the North Caucasus have previously been united under a local Caucasus Emirate organisation, but are now increasingly flocking to Daesh, which in June declared it had established a franchise there.
Moscow is conducting intensive air strikes targeting Daesh infrastructure in Syria and has been pushing for the creation of a broad coalition against the terror group, which would include Russia, the West and some Middle Eastern states.