No Let-Up in Rebel Attacks on Law-Enforcement Personnel in Dagestan

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 14

FSB warrant officer shot and killed in Makhachkala, January 14 (Source: ITAR-TASS)

In Dagestan today (January 20), three alleged militants were killed in a shootout with security forces in the republic’s Khasavyurt district. According to the Anti-Terrorist Committee, two of the slain suspects were identified as 25-year-old twin brothers Sabit and Said Akaev, who, according to the committee were “active members of the armed underground” who had been involved in burning down shops and extorting money from businessmen, as well as the murder of Akhmed Osmanov, an aide to the imam of the Khasavyurt district village of Aksai, last November, and a policeman in the district last October (, January 20).

On January 17, a bomb detonated underneath a police car parked near the district police department in the Dagestani town of Derbent. One policeman was injured in the blast (Interfax, January 17).

On January 16, unidentified attackers shot up a police car near the Dagestani village of Novokhushet. The two policemen in the car, a lieutenant and his driver, managed to avoid injury by jumping out of the car, which fell into a canal (, January 16).

On January 14, a Federal Security Service (FSB) warrant officer was shot and killed in the capital Makhachkala. The officer was reportedly killed by a lone shooter armed with a pistol (Interfax, January 14). Kavkazsky Uzel subsequently identified the slain FSB officer as Yunus Guseinov, a well-known martial arts specialist who was a Kung Fu world champion and a cup holder in Wushu Sanda. According the website, witnesses said the gunman who killed Guseinov shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack (, January 16).

Also on January 14, unidentified attackers shot up the headquarters for court bailiffs in the Dagestani city of Buinaksk, firing at the building with automatic weapons and grenade launchers. A grenade penetrated the reception office but failed to detonate. No one was hurt in the attack (, January 14). That same day, police in the village of Magaramkent in Dagestan’s Magaramkentsky came under fire when they stopped a car with two men inside and one of them opened fire with a pistol. The two men were captured (, January 14).

In yet another incident on January 14, a militant was killed in a shootout with security forces on the outskirts of the village of Bolshaya Areshevka in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district. The slain rebel was identified as Ruslan Sagidkhadzhiev, the main bomb specialist for the rebel group operating in the Kizlyar district (, January 14).

On January 13, security forces destroyed a rebel base on the outskirts of the village of Bolshaya Oreshevka in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district. The base reportedly consisted of a structure large enough to house 20-25 people. A large quantity of equipment and munitions, including three improvised explosive devices, were found at the base. That same day, two policemen were wounded when a police unit came under fire in the Dagestani town of Izberbash (, January 13).

Meanwhile, security forces yesterday (January 19) ended a special operation along the administrative border of Chechnya and Ingushetia that had been launched on January 17 to search for rebels believed to be hiding in wooded mountainous areas in both republics. The operation, which was carried out by the Chechen and Ingush branches of the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB), ended unsuccessfully, and the Kavkazsky Uzel website quoted an unnamed Chechen law-enforcement source as saying it was likely that the rebels in the area had learned about the operation in advance and escaped. “When large forces from the law-enforcement bodies are used in carrying out a special operation, the probability of a leak of information is very high,” the source was quoted as saying. “It is not necessarily a matter of informers for the militants being present among the employees of the law-enforcement structures. The movement of a large column of military hardware and personnel is easily noticed visually, and it is not especially difficult for supporters of the bandits within the local population to inform the militants about it.”

It was the second large scale operation in Chechnya so far this year. On January 8, a large-scale operation was launched in Chechnya’s mountainous Vedeno district, during which five militants and four law-enforcement personnel were killed. Another 16 law-enforcement staffers were wounded (, January 17-19; EDM, January 12).

On June 15, gunmen on the outskirts of the Chechen capital Grozny shot up a car being driven by the deputy head of the first department of the investigations department of the Investigative Committee for Chechnya. The driver was not hurt, but a passenger in the car, identified as an inhabitant of Stavropol Krai’s Georgievsky district, was wounded in the chest (, January 15).

In Kabardino-Balkaria, security forces yesterday (January 19) discovered and destroyed a rebel dugout in the Khauka Gorge several kilometers from the Prokhladnyi-Azau federal highway. According to the republic’s Interior Ministry, medicine, clothing and uniforms were found in the dugout, but no explosives or IEDs were found.

On January 18, a memorial to policemen killed in rebel attacks was opened in the city of Baksan in Kabardino-Balkaria. The monument includes the photographs of 25 slain policemen and the engraved names of another 11 slain officers (, January 19).

On January 16, an officer with the regional criminal investigation department was shot and wounded by two gunmen in Baksan. The policeman was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the small of the back and left leg. Police found 18 5.45 millimeter shell casings at the scene of the shooting (, January 17).

On January 14, a policeman shot a local resident in the town of Prokhladnyi in Kabardino-Balkaria when the resident tried to take his pistol from him. The wounded man later died in the hospital (, January 14).