MAKHACHKALA, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Several suspected militants were killed early on Thursday in an operation by law-enforcers in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, a police source said.
The special operation was carried out in the settlement of Semender on the outskirts of the republic’s capital Makhachkala. A counter-terrorism operation regime was imposed in the area on Wednesday morning, causing a grass-root unauthorized protest by its residents.
“At approximately 2:30 Moscow time (22:30 GMT), the active phase of a special operation… has been completed. All militants were killed as a result. The number of them is currently being verified,” the source said, adding that no casualties were reported among law-enforcers.
According to police sources, a militant group leader on a federal wanted list for the 2007 murder of Dagestan parliament member Gazimagomed Magomedov, could be among those killed in the operation.
The Dagestani Interior Ministry’s press service said police dispersed an angry crowd of Semender residents, who took to the streets on Wednesday afternoon demanding the cancellation of a counter-terrorism operation regime imposed in the town at about 6:00 a.m. Moscow time [2:00 a.m. GMT] on Wednesday.
An eyewitness told RIA Novosti that “hundreds” of residents blocked traffic on a highway in Makhachkala, demanding the authorities to lift the counter-terrorism operation regime in Semender. The regime entails enhanced public security, such as identity check of all people in the area, the possibility of blocking cell phone communications and other measures.
“Protestors refused to follow police officers’ commands to end their unsanctioned rally and continued their protest,” the press office said. “Law-enforcers took harsh measures to disperse the rally. At the moment, traffic has resumed and the situation is under police control.”