Instability returned to Dagestan yesterday. The center of the capital, Makhachkala, was sealed off by police after an exchange of gunfire between the security forces and occupants of a jeep in which the Khachilaev brothers were believed to be traveling. Magomed Khachilaev, leader of the national movement of Dagestan’s Laks, is said to have been arrested along with five of his guards. His younger brother, who is a deputy to the Russian State Duma, managed to escape. Last night, Magomed Khachilaev’s supporters gathered on the main square of the city demanding his release. As a deputy to Dagestan’s National Assembly and deputy minister of agriculture of the North Caucasus republic, Magomed Khachilaev is supposed to have immunity from arrest. (Itar-Tass, RTR, September 9)
The Dagestani authorities are conducting an investigation into the Khachilaev brothers’ involvement in the disturbances that took place in Makhachkala on May 21, when gunmen occupied the building of the State Council and government in downtown Makhachkala. The authorities claim that they foiled an attempted coup d’etat on that occasion.
MASKHADOV AND BASAEV TRADE INSULTS.