North Caucasus’ Low-Grade Insurgency Continues to Simmer

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 12 Issue: 14

A number of incidents of insurgency-related violence were reported across the North Caucasus this past week.

An improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered and defused by Federal Security Service (FSB) bomb disposal experts today (July 8) in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district. The Kavkazsky Uzel website reported that the IED was found in a sports bag near a house in the village of Chontaul. The device consisted of a 30 liter plastic canister filled with ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder and a timing mechanism attached to a priming device (, July 8). On July 7, bomb disposal experts defused two IED’s discovered near a federal highway in the Kirov district of Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital (, July 7). On July 6, police in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district arrested a 20-year-old resident, Shamil Dzhavatov, and seized two IEDs from him. The two devices – one of which was found in a bucket, the other in a sports bag – were together equal in force to 25 kilograms of TNT (, July 8).

On July 6, RIA Novosti quoted police in Dagestan as saying that two civilians, two suspected militants and a serviceman were killed in a shootout between militants and federal forces in the village of Serebryakovka, in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district. One of the two militants killed was identified as a Magomed Aliev, who led a group suspected of involvement in a number of terrorist attacks. According to police sources, Aliyev had received training in Syria (RIA Novosti, July 6).

However, Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the Dagestani newspaper Chernovik, told Kavkazsky Uzel that while the official version of events is that the shootout in Serebryakovka occurred after gunmen fired on a convoy of Russian interior ministry internal troops and police, in fact a group of federal servicemen at a temporary post had shot at two cars after coming under fire from a wooded area. Kamalov was quoted as saying that those in the two targeted vehicles were civilians, not militants. According to Kavkazsky Uzel, three civilians died from wounds they received after being fired on, while another five civilians shot in the incident remain in the hospital, one of them in critical condition (, July 7).

On July 5, a gunman shot up a store in the village of Toturbiikala in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district, wounding the store’s owner, a 39-year-old woman. On July 6, the man who police say carried out the attack on the store was killed in a shootout with police. He was identified as Nariman Aligadzhiev. (, July 5 and 6). Also on July 5, two border guards were shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen near a border post on the Russian-Georgian border in Dagestan’s Tsumadinsky distrct (Interfax, July 5).

On July 4, two policemen were wounded when they came under fire in the Dagestani town of Izberbash. The officers reportedly managed to return fire and wound the attackers, but the gunmen were able to escape. On July 3, Magomed Izudinov, an official of the Sovietsky district of Makhachkala, was killed by a bomb blast near his car. Another man was wounded in the explosion (, July 5). Also on July 3, an improvised explosive device detonated on the path of a freight train in Kizlyar district. A section of the railroad bed was destroyed and rail traffic was temporarily halted (, July 4).

In Kabardino-Balkaria, relatives and neighbors of a man whom police accused of being a rebel and killed held a protest in the city of Baksan on July 6. The National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) had reported that the man, Beslan Zeushev, was “neutralized” after his car was stopped in Baksan by members of the republic’s FSB and interior ministry and he violently resisted. The NAK claimed a revolver, grenade and IED were found in the vehicle.

Zeushev’s friends and relatives, who claim he was not involved with religious extremists or terrorists, blocked a bridge in Baksan and demanded a meeting with Kabardino-Balkaria’s president, Arsen Kanokov.

Security forces in Kabardino-Balkaria killed three other alleged militants around the republic on July 6. Bomb disposal experts defused an IED found in the car of an alleged rebel slain in Nalchik, the republic’s capital (, July 7).

On July 5, a police major was shot to death in Kabardino-Balkaria as he was walking into his apartment building in the town of Nartkala after returning home from work. The officer, Artur Tokhov, died on the spot (, July 6).

On July 4, authorities in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district discovered an IED in an apartment building in the city of Tyrnyauz. The device was taken to a safe spot and destroyed (, July 4).

In Ingushetia, unidentified attackers today (July 8) threw a homemade grenade into the yard of a home of a policeman in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in the republic’s Sunzha district. The blast from the grenade broke windows and caused other damage, but no one was hurt in the incident (, July 8).

On July 7, police in Ingushetia reported that three large suspected rebel weapons caches were discovered near the village of Sagopshi in Ingushetia’s Malgobek district (, July 7). On July 5, a policeman was killed and another seriously wounded in a shootout with a group of militants in a wooded area on the outskirts of Sagopshi. An Ingush Interior Ministry source said that a rebel was killed and several others wounded in the shootout (, July 5). The slain policeman was later identified as Senior Lieutenant Magomed Bekbuzarov, the head of the Malgobek district criminal investigation department, while his severely wounded colleague was identified as Lieutenant Ruslan Marziev, a detective with the Malgobek district criminal investigation department (, July 6).

In Chechnya, two policemen were wounded and hospitalized on July 6 after unidentified attackers fired a grenade launcher at them. The incident took place in the Naursk district of northern Chechnya. On July 5, a counter-terrorist regime was imposed on Chechnya’s Groznensky district. In addition, large-scale counter-insurgency operations were being conducted in the republic’s Shatoi and Achkhoi-Martan districts (, July 6).

A policeman was killed and two others wounded on July 2 in a shootout with militants in Chechnya’s Vedeno district, where a special operation was being conducted targeting a group of 10-12 suspected rebels (Interfax, July 2).