Rebels and Security Forces Battle in Makhachkala

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 44

Unidentified gunmen fired at a car with police officers on the outskirts of the village of Pokrovskoye in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt region on November 15, killing the driver and injuring another person, Itar-Tass reported. According to Dagestan’s Interior Ministry, the incident was the second attack on policemen on the outskirts of Pokrovskoye in recent days. On November 8, a senior police sergeant of the Khasavyurt Regional Police Department was killed in his own house in the same village.

Eight suspected militants were reportedly killed in a special operation in Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, on November 12. Interfax quoted Dagestan’s Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov as saying that seven men and one woman were killed when special police forces fired on an apartment building. According to Russian media reports, the security forces used a tank to attack and flatten the building. Footage shown on Russian television showed security forces using armored personnel carriers and a tank and firing heavy weapons into an apartment building.

Kommersant reported on November 13 that the security operation destroyed the “backbone” of the “Seifullah” (“Sword of Allah”) group that had carried out two attempts to assassinate Adilgerei Magomedtagirov and other terrorist attacks. According to the newspaper, the number of militants killed in the operation was nine, not eight: the bodies of seven men and two women were found in the ruins of the building, it reported. Kommersant quoted Magomedtagirov as saying that the slain militants had been members of the “Buinaksk Jamaat” who had carried out “tens” of attacks on police and soldiers. Magomedtagirov, however, did not mention that the group had tried to assassinate him. The newspaper quoted sources in the Buinaksk prosecutor’s office and police as saying the dead militants had previously been under the command of Sharia Jamaat leader Rasul Makasharipov and that after Makasharipov was killed in the summer of 2005, they went on to form “Seifullah.”