Murder attempt on Russia’s south anti-terror head fails, two police dead

Gunmen attempted to kill the anti-extremism department head of Russia’s volatile southern republic of Dagestan, Akhmed Bataliyev, but left two of the republic’s Interior Ministry officers dead on Friday.

Unidentified gunmen sprayed automatic fire at Bataliyev’s car just after 8:00 a.m. as it was driving the republic’s capital of Makhachkala and killed two police escorts.

“As a result [of the attack], two policemen who were escorting Bataliyev were killed, Bataliyev was not injured,” a spokesman from the anti-extremism department said.

On Thursday, Bataliyev participated in a police operation that ended in the killing of three militants in Makhachkala.

Bataliyev has received numerous death threats in the past, the spokesman said.

Dagestan has been troubled by Islamist militancy that has spread from neighboring Chechnya, which has seen two brutal separatist wars in the past two decades.

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