At least three people have been killed following a knife attack in the Chechen capital of Grozny on Monday.
Two armed militants attacked law enforcement officers on Putin Avenue in central Grozny, TASS and Interfax cited anonymous sources as saying Monday afternoon, with conflicting reports of the number of people killed.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov later confirmed the attack and published the identities of the attackers on his Telegram channel. One law enforcement officer was killed and another injured in stable condition, while both attackers were shot dead by return fire, he said.
According to Kadyrov, the attackers were two brothers named Khasan and Hussein who moved to Chechnya from their native republic of Ingushetia in 2012 and got jobs in a bakery.
“On Monday, two terrorists armed with knives attempted to seize the weapons of patrol police officers who were serving in the center of Grozny. A policeman was killed. The attackers were destroyed by the return fire of the fighters,” Kadyrov said.
Kadyrov added that no civilians were harmed in the incident.
Interfax and TASS earlier reported that two law enforcement officers had been killed in a shootout and that one of the attackers was killed.
The Mash Telegram channel published a photo claiming to show the dead bodies on the street following the attack.
Law enforcement is investigating the incident.
Grozny, which was devastated by mass bombings during the first and second Chechen wars in the 1990s, has been largely rebuilt in recent years with major investments in infrastructure. The region continues to grapple with the threat of terrorist attacks.
This story has been updated to add Kadyrov's statement, to update the number of victims and to clarify that it was a knife attack, not a shootout.