A number of insurgency-related incidents were reported in Dagestan and Ingushetia this past week. Dagestan’s Interior Ministry reported today (September 30) that an arms cache was discovered on the outskirts of the village of Toturbiikala in the republic’s Khasavyurt district yesterday (September 29), and that among the items found there was a “suicide belt.” The ministry believes the arms cache belonged to Ibragim Muchukev, who was killed in a special operation conducted in Khasavyurt on September 4. Among the other items found in the arms cache were 440 7.62 mm rounds, six VOG-25 grenades, two F-1 grenades, a Bickford fuse, a push-button remote control device, a detonating fuse for an RPG-7V rocket propelled grenade, a tent, a sleeping bag and food (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 30).
Eight people were killed in a car bombing in Dagestan’s Levashinsky district on September 28, including an 11-year-old girl. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, one policeman and seven civilians died in the blast, which wounded another six policemen. The incident took place on the Kupa-Gunib highway near the village of Khadzhalmakhi when unidentified persons detonated explosives in a Zhiguli automobile as police were approaching the vehicle to inspect it. The slain policeman was identified as Abdulmazhid Mirzaev, a junior sergeant with the Levashinsky district police. A Levashinsky district police lieutenant colonel, Magomedsalam Nurov, was among those wounded in the attack (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 28).
According to some reports, the bombing may have been an attempt to kill the head of the Gergebilsky district administration, Magomed Magomeov, who was driving in a convoy of vehicles near the site of the explosion when it took place (www.ntv.ru, September 29). He received only minor injuries in the blast. Magomed Abdurashidov, a columnist for the Dagestani weekly Novoe Delo, told the Regnum news agency that Magomedov had “practically reduced to zero the influence of extremists in the district he heads,” and had also helped resolve a long-time conflict between residents of his home village of Kikuni and the town of Gergebil (www.regnum.ru, September 29).
The blast produced by the car bomb near Khadzhalmakhi was very powerful. Investigative Committee officials said it exploded with the force of 20 kilograms of TNT. A Levashinksy district police official estimated the blast had the force of 30-40 kilograms of TNT, while a Dagestani Interior Ministry source put it at 40 kilograms of TNT. Whatever the case, the Kavkazsky Uzel website reported that the blast was so loud that it was heard in surrounding villages (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 29).
In a separate incident in Dagestan on September 28, an unidentified attacker hurled a grenade into the “Islamic Fashion” clothes shop in Makhachkala, the republic’s capital. No one was hurt in the grenade explosion, and the shop was only slightly damaged (RIA Novosti, September 28).
On September 26, unidentified gunmen in the Dagestani town of Derbent shot at a police captain as he was walking with his mother. The elderly woman was wounded in the attack, while the police captain was uninjured (Interfax, September 26).
Russia’s deputy prosecutor general, Ivan Sydoruk, told a meeting of Dagestan’s top law enforcement officials held in Makhachkala on September 28 that there have been 136 attempts on the lives of law enforcement personnel in Dagestan so far this year, and that 70 law enforcers were killed in the attacks and 145 wounded. According to Sydoruk, more than half of the attacks on Russian law enforcement personnel take place in the North Caucasus Federal District. In addition, it was noted at the meeting that, so far this year, there have been nine attempts on the lives of government, religious and other public figures in Dagestan who, as the Kavkazsky Uzel website put it, “took an active position in favor of countering extremism” (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 29).
In Ingushetia on September 28, an improvised explosive device went off in the courtyard of a home in the republic’s main city, Nazran. The home was damaged but no one was hurt in the blast. According to the press service of Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry, Timur Arselgov, a member of the republic’s “illegal armed formations” – meaning insurgent groups – formerly lived in the home, which is currently occupied by a pensioner. Arselgov was killed in June 2010 (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 29).
Elsewhere in Ingushetia, the press service of the republic’s branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) reported yesterday that six persons suspected of being members of the republic’s “illegal armed formations” were arrested during a security sweep in the Malgobek district (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 29).
On September 27, an explosive device detonated with the force of 12 kilograms of TNT in the village of Nasyr-Kortsk in Ingushetia. No one was hurt in the blast (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, September 28).