Russian forces kill militant leader in Dagestan
Moscow, Apr 10: Russian forces said they killed the leader of an Islamist militant group in an operation in the volatile Caucasus region of Dagestan today, local news agencies reported.
Police said the man was Makhach Yasin Rasulov, a leader of the Shariat group that claimed responsibility for a bomb that killed 10 soldiers on their way to a bathhouse in July, the Interfax news agency said.
Russian media also reported Rasulov killed six months ago. It was not possible to independently verify the police report.
Two policemen were also killed today in the same operation and another wounded, Interfax added.
Attacks on officials and gangland killings happen regularly in mainly Muslim Dagestan, a patchwork of ethnic groups and powerful clans that has become nearly as violent as neighbouring Chechnya.
Earlier this year Dagestan installed Kremlin nominee Mukhu Aliyev as its new leader. He now faces the task of bringing stability to the region and warding off the threat of a militant Islamist insurgency in the poor North Caucasus.
In a separate incident in Chechnya, a gunmen opened fire on a car, killing a policeman and two of his relatives, Interfax reported.