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MOSCOW, March 25, 22:57 /ITAR-TASS/. A gang leader and four militants were killed in a special operation the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, the Russian National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) reported Tuesday.
The clash between militants and law enforcers also claimed the life of one Interior Ministry officer, leaving another one wounded, the committee told Itar-Tass.
A few suspected members of illegal armed units were blocked by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry special forces in a house in the Pervomayskoye village in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt District. The suspects were “told to lay down arms, but they opened fire from automatic weapons on law enforcers”.
All five were “neutralized” during the special operation. They were identified, including the head of so-called Khasavyurt gang, Tural Atayev born in 1988, an Azeri national, who was one of the organizers of a terrorist attack in the city of Pyatigorsk in December.
“His gang made numerous attempts to kill law enforcement officers, extorted large sums of money from entrepreneurs, organized explosions,” the NAC said.
Weapons and ammunition were discovered on the site of the clash. No civilians were injured. Manhunt and investigative activities are being held.
Russia’s law enforcement agencies continue fighting militants in Dagestan over 13 years since the battle phase of the second war against Islamist separatists in the neighboring Chechnya came to an end in 2000. Attacks on security officials and civilians occur from time to time in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.