MAKHACHKALA, March 28 (RIA Novosti) – One of five gunmen killed in a special operation in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan last week has been identified as a local lawmaker, the Investigative Committee said on Thursday.
Five gunmen and two special forces officers were killed during an armed clash in the village of Semender on Saturday. Government troops had entered the village three days earlier in search of a suspected member of an illegal armed group.
One of the gunmen was identified as Magomedkhabib Magomedaliyev, chairman of a local legislative assembly in the Untsukul district, a committee representative told RIA Novosti.
Identification of the other four gunmen has been complicated due to their bodies being badly burned, he added.
Magomedaliyev was elected to the local Duma in 2010 on the ruling United Russia’s party list.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to the republic of Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Over a decade after the war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya ended, Russian security forces continue to fight militants in the volatile region.