Security forces and police in Karachaevo-Cherkessia carried out a special operation on May 14 against suspected militants who were holed up in an apartment building in Cherkessk, the republic’s capital. According to the FSB, six militants were killed in the operation. The Associated Press quoted Anna Lyzina, a spokesperson for the FSB branch in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, as saying the six were subordinated to Shamil Basaev and Achimez Ghochiyaev, the Karachaevo-Cherkessia native whom the Russian authorities have implicated in the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow and other Russian cities.
In an interview with Itar-Tass, Lyzina indicated that three of the dead militants – Kazim Kicherukov, Timur Kubanov and Murat Laipazov – were citizens of Karachaevo-Cherkessia who were on the federal wanted list. Two others, she said, were women – Aina Bikeyeva and Diana Kakchieva – who were allegedly trained in “Wahhabi” camps in Chechnya. The sixth dead militant was identified as Boris Semyonov. According to investigators, plastic explosives, more than 200 microchips and various explosive devices, including suicide belts, were found in the third-floor apartment where the militants were killed. Itar-Tass reported on May 15 that the militants put up “fierce resistance” before being killed.