Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 45

Russian media on November 30 reported that security forces were conducting a large-scale special operation following the murder of the head of the Avtury village administration, Ibragim Umpashaev, and his son Isa. According to Ren TV, as many as 20 armed people had entered the village the previous evening, setting up several checkpoints in the streets and seizing local residents’ cars. Five or six of the raiders then stormed into Umpashaev’s house. A source in the regional headquarters of the anti-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus told Interfax: “Unidentified gunmen in camouflage and masks entered the house of administration head Ibragim Umpashaev at about 7 PM on Tuesday and shot him dead. When they saw his son Isa in the yard, they opened automatic fire at him. Isa Umpashaev, born in 1979, died of mortal wounds in hospital.”

Another village administration head was reportedly killed on November 27. Interfax quoted an unnamed Chechen government official as saying on November 28 that Sultan Demilkhanov, who was head of the administration of the village of Pamyatoi in Chechnya’s Shatoi district and the brother of Chechen State Council member and parliamentary candidate Ruslan Demilkhanov, was killed after his car came under fire high in the mountains.

Meanwhile, Interfax reported on November 30 that security forces in the Vedeno district were searching for a group of militants who had been spotted earlier by a federal reconnaissance unit near the village of Eshil-Khotoi. A source in the district’s Interior Ministry branch told the news agency that that the gunmen had opened fire and that one serviceman had been wounded in the exchange and hospitalized. According to the source, there were dead and wounded among the militants.