MOSCOW, May 8 (Reuters) - One serviceman and three militants were killed in a clash in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Sunday, where Russia is fighting a growing Islamist insurgency, Russia's investigative committee said.
Violent incidents occur almost daily in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, where rebels want to establish an Islamic state with sharia law.
One serviceman was killed during an anti-terrorist operation in the Kizlyar region of Dagestan, and three local policemen were wounded, the committee said in a statement on its Web site www.sledcom.ru.
"Three members of a gang were killed by law enforcement forces at around 0600 (0200 GMT) in the morning in a forest near the Shoumyan village," the committee said.
Dagestan is a multi-ethnic republic on the Caspian Sea considered the heart of the Islamist insurgency, a decade after federal forces drove separatists out of power in neighbouring Chechnya. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)
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