Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 35

A battle took place on September 19 between members of the 102nd brigade of Interior Ministry Internal Troops and suspected rebels in a wooded area near the mountain settlement of Gubden, located in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district. Gazeta reported on September 20 that the Interior Ministry commandos, who are stationed in the Chechen village of Shelkovskaya, were conducting a reconnaissance mission based on intelligence that rebels responsible for attacks on police in the Karabudakhkentsky, Buinaksky, and Kayakentsky districts might be in the area. The occupants of a VAZ-2016 automobile came across some of the spetsnaz on a back road near Gubden and opened fire on the commandos, who fired back, wounding the car’s driver and passenger. The driver, who was captured after attempting to blow himself up with a grenade, later died in the hospital. He was identified as Magomedshapi Khalikov, a 30-year-old unemployed Gubden resident. The car’s passenger managed to escape. One of the spetsnaz was wounded in the eye during the shootout. Two AK-74s with nine magazines, four grenades, and medical kit were found in the attackers’ car. It should be noted that Gubden was once the site of a training center for Islamist fighters that was eventually closed down (see Chechnya Weekly, May 11).

On September 15, a GAI (State Motor Vehicle Inspection Administration) post in the Dagestani town of Kizilyurt came under fire when a taxi was stopped for a routine document check, reported. Two men got out of the vehicle and opened fire with assault rifles. One attacker was killed, while two policemen and three women who were passengers in the car were wounded. One of the wounded policemen later died. The second attacker managed to escape.