Insurgency-related Violence Reported in Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan
Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 12 Issue: 9
Russian law-enforcement agencies conducted a special operation today (April 29) in the village of Progress, located on the administrative border between Kabardino-Balkaria and Stavropol Krai. According to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK), 16 people suspected of involvement with the “armed underground” were killed in the operation. There was no information concerning losses among the security forces. The operation was carried out by personnel of the Interior Ministry branch for the North Caucasus Federal District, who had surrounded a group of alleged rebels in a private home in Progress on April 27. According to the Russian authorities, the battle began after the blockaded militants put up “armed resistance.”
Four local rebel leaders were reportedly among the slain militants: Asker Dzhappuev, aka Abdullah, the 40-year-old leader of the militants in Kabardino-Balkaria; Ratmir Shameyev, a 22-year-old resident of Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital, who headed a militant group active in the republic and had been involved in attacks on law-enforcement personnel and other crimes; Kazbek Tashuev, the 32-year-old head of the Baksan rebel group; and Tashuev’s 31-year-old deputy, Aslanbek Khamurzov.
Dzhappuev became the head of the Yarmuk Jamaat, the main underground armed Islamist group in Kabardino-Balkaria, after Anzor Astemirov was killed in a special operation in Nalchik in March 2010. According to the authorities, militants belonging to Dzhappuev’s group were involved in the murder of tourists from Moscow near Mount Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria this past February. A law-enforcement source told RIA Novosti that Ratmir Shameyev, with the Islamic name of Zakariya, was the leader of the so-called Chegem sector of the Caucasus Emirate’s Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay. The source said that Kazbek Tashuev was suspected of having organized the bombing of the Baksan hydroelectric station in July 2010 and of involvement in the murder of policemen in the republic (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, www.newsru.com, April 29).
On April 27, two suspected militants were killed in a shootout with police in Nalchik. They were identified as Khadis Balkizov, a resident of the Baksan district of Kabardino-Balkaria, and Timur Khakyashev, a resident of the city of Baksan. That same day, two Nalchik residents suspected of being rebel accomplices were taken into custody (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 28).
On April 27, an unidentified attacker threw a hand grenade into the courtyard of a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in the town of Nartkala, Kabardino-Balkaria. The grenade did not detonate but was later destroyed in a controlled explosion. No one was hurt in the incident (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 28). In a separate incident that day, an improvised explosive device was discovered in Nalchik. The IED, which included a timing mechanism set to go off at midday, was defused five minutes before noon (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 27).
On April 26, a policeman in Nalchik was shot by an unidentified gunman. The officer, who was shot from an automatic weapon near the garage where his car was located, was hospitalized (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 26).
In Dagestan, a policeman was wounded by an improvised explosive device in the republic’s Kazbek district on April 28. The IED detonated three kilometers east of the village of Leninaul as local police and Russian Interior Ministry Internal Troops were conducting a joint reconnaissance mission in a wooded area. The policeman was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds in his legs. That same day, an automobile blew up and burned in the capital Makhachkala. According to various reports, either three or four bodies were subsequently found in the vehicle. Some Russian news agencies reported that the blast may have occurred when explosives that were being transported accidently detonated (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 29).
Also on April 28, six militants were reportedly killed in three special operations conducted in various parts of Dagestan. Two brothers, Bilal and Kurvan Magomedov, were killed in Makhachkala. According to the NAK, the 27-year-old Bilal Magomedov headed a rebel group operating in Makhachkala and the city of Kaspiisk. A group of suspected rebels killed during a security operation in the republic’s Tsumadinsky district were identified as Ravil Ibragimov, Magomded Khalitov and Murad (no last name given) aka Saidullah. The NAK identified a suspected rebel killed in the village of Shaomyan in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district as Akhmet Ramazanov. According to the committee, a relative of Ramazanov named Khabib surrendered. The operations were carried out jointly by the Interior and Defense ministries and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Separately on April 28, two suspected militants blockaded in an apartment building in Makhachkala were killed in shootout with security forces (www.newsru.com, www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 28).
On April 27, a bomb detonated next to a beer bar in the village of Sultanyangiyurt in Dagestan’s Kizlyurt district just as a group of policemen arrived at the establishment. Five policemen were slightly injured in the blast. The explosive device had reportedly been planted by two men in masks who carjacked a vehicle from a local resident and used it to transport the bomb to the bar. On April 27, a large bomb detonated on the Agvali-Botlikh road near the village of Gigatli-Urukh in Dagestan’s Tsumadinsky district. No one was hurt in the blast (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 28). That same day, an explosion took place near the Ilkhan shopping center in Makhachkala. No one was hurt in the incident. That same day, two policemen were killed and three wounded in a shootout with a group of militants on the outskirts of the village of Kvanada in Dagestan’s Tsumadinsky district. The shootout took place as an OMON special task unit was conducting a special operation and the rebels opened fire on them from a wooded area (www.newsru.com, April 27).
On April 26, FSB bomb disposal experts defused two powerful improvised explosive devices found on the Makhachkala-Gunib road not far from the village of Khadzhalmakhi in Dagestan’s Levashinsky district (www.newsru.com, April 26).
On April 24, a man who reportedly practiced non-traditional medicine and healing was shot to death on the Kizlyar-Bryansk road near the village of Khutseyevka in the Dagestan’s Kizlyar district. That same day, unidentified gunmen shot up a police post in the city of Khasvyurt. One policeman was wounded and later died in the hospital www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, April 25).