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Four policemen shot dead in North Caucasus

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Two masked gunmen have shot dead four traffic policemen in one of Russia's restive North Caucasus republics, reports say.

The four policemen were sitting in a cafe on their lunch break when the attack happened in Kabardino-Balkaria.

A police spokesman said that after the gunmen opened fire they commandeered a taxi and escaped.

Security officials in the region are regular targets of Islamist rebels who seek independence from Moscow.

A fifth policeman was taken to hospital in a critical condition following the attack in the small town of Chegem.

In Dagestan, another Caucasus province, two suspected insurgents were killed in an overnight gun battle with police, AP reports.

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