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Authorities placed a state of emergency on the North Ossetia region of southern Russia Saturday after armed clashes broke out between the indigenous population and settlers, the official Tass news agency said.

Tass also reported five people killed in unrest in recent days in the neighboring territory of South Ossetia, including three who came under machinegun fire Friday.Parliament in North Ossetia, which borders Georgia, voted to introduce emergency measures in the capital Vladikavkaz and surrounding regions to halt fighting between native Ossetians and the region's Ingushi minority, Tass reported.

The agency said several people, including police, had been badly wounded in the clashes, which are rooted in a decades-old land dispute.