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Militant leader killed in Dagestan

June 06, 2015, 15:34 UTC+3
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MAKHACHKALA, June 6. /TASS/. A local militant leader was killed early Saturday in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) said Saturday.

The NAC said the militant was preliminarily identified as the leader of a militant group that acted in the Khasavyurt District, Suleiman Zainalobidov, born in 1979.

"According to the NAC operational headquarters in Dagestan, Zainalobidov has been in hiding for over 10 years, and last December he swore allegiance to the international terrorist organization IS [Islamic State]," the NAC said.

Zainalobidov is believed to have been directly involved in attacks on law enforcement officers, in particular in the murder in December 2013 of a regional Federal Security Service (FSB) Department officer, as well as extortion of money from entrepreneurs.

During this night’s check of cars at a road near the locality of Michurino near Khasavyurt, FSB and Interior Ministry units tried to stop a VAZ-2109 car.

"The driver did not obey the lawful demands of law enforcers, opened fire from automatic weapons and tried to escape. He was neutralized by return fire," a NAC spokesman said.

No law enforcers or civilians are reported to have been killed or injured.

"During an inspection of the gunfight site, a considerable arsenal was found with the bandit: eight grenades, two assault rifles, a handgun, ten magazines for the rifles and three for the handgun, as well as several sets of car license plates issued in three different regions," he said.

An investigation is underway.

Russia’s law enforcement agencies continue fighting militants in the North Caucasus over 14 years since the battle phase of the second war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya came to an end in 2000. Attacks on security officials and civilians occur from time to time in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.

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