Rebels Mount Small-Scale Attacks Across the North Caucasus

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 100

An explosive device was discovered on a railway line in the Leninsky district of Makhachkala

Violent incidents have been reported across the North Caucasus over the last several days. A businessman was shot and killed yesterday (May 23) in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala. The victim was identified as one of the owners of a large media holding, but was not named. As the Kavkazsky Uzel website noted, last September, letters were distributed in Dagestan warning that the relatives of policemen killed by militants would take revenge on 250 people –16 of whom were named– including journalists who had allegedly justified rebel actions (, May 23; EDM, September 9, 2009).

On May 22, unidentified attackers threw an explosive device into the courtyard of the head of Dagestan’s Rutulsky district, Davud Suleimanov, in the Rutulsky district village of Rutul. The blast broke windows in his house but no one was hurt in the incident (, May 24). That same day, a bomb in Makhachkala targeted a police car, slightly injuring three officers, while a blast in the village of Kasumkent in Dagestan’s Suleimanstalsky district apparently occurred when a bomb that was being transported by a suspected militant detonated, killing him. Also on May 22, a police patrol car in Makhachkala narrowly escaped when a bomb that had been placed underneath it failed to go off: the detonator apparently activated but failed to trigger an explosion (, May 22)

On May 21, the Tyumen-Baku and Kharkov-Baku trains were delayed after an explosive device was discovered on a railway line in the Leninsky district of Makhachkala. On May 20, a policeman was killed in Makhachkala when police stopped a car at a checkpoint and someone inside opened fire. The perpetrators escaped. On May 19, an explosive device detonated as a police car was driving by in Makhachkala’s Leninsky district. None of the three police officers inside was hurt. That same day, a large roadside bomb was discovered on the Echeda-Agvali road in Dagestan’s Tsumadinsky district and was destroyed in controlled explosion. Also, on May 19, police reported the seizure of a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a pistol with a silencer, ammunition and two improvised explosive devices (IED) from a resident of the village of Shamkhal in Dagestan’s Kirovsky district. The villager, a local school teacher, was taken into custody (, May 19).

On May 18, unidentified attackers fired on a police car in Dagestan’s Novolaksk district, killing one policeman and wounding another (, May 18). Yesterday (May 23), police in Dagestan detained a suspect who they said was behind the March 31 twin suicide bombings in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar, which killed 12 people (RIA Novosti, May 23).

A policeman was wounded in Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital, Nalchik, today (May 24) when a bomb was detonated, apparently by remote control, as he was walking near a bus stop (, May 24). Meanwhile, Kabardino-Balkaria’s interior ministry reported today that a major terrorist attack was averted when a powerful explosive device was discovered yesterday evening at the Eternal Flame Memorial in the city of Tyrnyauz (ITAR-TASS, May 24).

On May 22, unidentified attackers shot a group of four prison guards near the village of Sovietsky in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Prokhladnensky district, killing three of them –two women and a man– and wounding the fourth guard, a woman (, May 22).

On May 20, two unidentified gunmen shot and killed the deputy prosecutor of Kabardino-Balkaria’s Baksan district, Ruslan Makhov, in the town of Baksan. On May 19, an explosive device detonated near a police station in Nalchik. No one was hurt in the blast, but a school nearby was evacuated. On May 16, unidentified gunmen fired on two policemen near the employment center in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district, wounding one of the officers (, May 21).

Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced on May 23 that two militants were killed during a special operation conducted in a wooded area on the outskirts of village of Serzhen-Yurt in Chechnya’s Shali district (, May 23). On May 19, a contract serviceman with the Russian interior ministry’s internal troops was killed in an explosion in the republic’s Urus-Martan district. A military source told Kavkazsky Uzel that the incident took place as an internal troops unit was conducting reconnaissance in a wooded area several kilometers from the village of Tangi-Chu and a homemade mine went off. In a similar incident on May 17, a Russian army serviceman was wounded when a land mine exploded as his unit was searching for militants in the village of Yandi-Kotar in Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district.

Also on May 17, militants fired on two cars in the neighboring Urus-Martan district, killing a policeman and a local resident. That same day, the head of the Second Operational Investigative Bureau (ORB-2) of the Southern Federal District’s main interior ministry department, Lieutenant-Colonel Lom-Ali Khadzhiev, was killed by a remote control bomb in Grozny’s Oktyabrsky district. Two other high-level Chechen police officials –the head of the criminal investigation unit of the republic’s interior ministry and the head of the criminal investigation unit of the Oktyabrsky district police department– were wounded in that bombing, along with a civilian (, May 20).

On May 19, a lieutenant with the patrol-sentry service of Chechnya’s interior ministry was detained in the village of Gerzel in the republic’s Gudermes district while transporting a large amount of weapons and ammunition. A law enforcement source told Kavkazsky Uzel that two Kalashnikov assault rifles, two grenade launchers with sixteen grenades and more than 300 rounds of ammunition were found in the lieutenant’s car and that it was possible the weaponry was destined for members of the republic’s “illegal armed formations” – that is, the insurgents.

On May 18, a 17-year-old schoolboy was detained in Chechnya’s Vedeno district on suspicion of aiding a member of the armed rebel underground (, May 20).

On May 21, unidentified gunmen in Nazran, Ingushetia fired on a car in which the employees of the Investigative Committee for Ingushetia’s Sunzha district were riding, wounding two of them (, May 22).