Local Militant Leader Killed in Dagestan – Russian Authorities

MOSCOW, November 27 (RIA Novosti) – A suspected militant killed in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan on Tuesday was identified as a local gang leader, Russia’s anti-terrorism authority said on Wednesday.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said three militants were killed in a counter-terrorism operation on the outskirts of Makhachkala, capital of the Republic of Dagestan.

One of them was identified as Gasan Abatayev, leader of a local militant group. The other two were identified as active members of his gang.

The group is suspected of committing multiple crimes in the republic, including extortion, bombings and assassination attempts on law-enforcement and justice officials.

The committee said the group is suspected of organizing the killing of senior penitentiary official Rovshan Lukmanov. His body was found with about 20 gunshot wounds at his home outside Makhachkala in mid-August.

Dagestan has in recent years been the epicenter of the Islamist insurgency in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus, with regular armed clashes between militants and federal forces.

In a separate development, two suspected militants were killed in an ongoing counter-terrorism operation in another North Caucasus republic, Ingushetia. One law enforcement officer was injured and hospitalized.

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