Insurgency-related violence was reported in the North Caucasus this past week, particularly in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Two improvised explosive devices were discovered today (June 17) on a gas pipeline in Dagestan’s Derbent district. While one of the devices was being defused, the second one detonated, damaging the pipeline (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 17).
On June 16, a suspected rebel was killed in a shootout with police in Derbent. Earlier on June 16, an unidentified gunman fired on the police headquarters in Dagestan’s Kaitagsky district. No one was hurt in the incident (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 16).
On June 15, four suspected rebels who opened fire on police in a drive-by shooting were killed in the ensuing shootout. The incident took place in the village of Achi in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district. A police source later said that the leader of rebels in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala, Arsen Abdullaev, was one of the four rebels killed (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15).
According to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee, a rebel killed by police during a special operation in Kaspiisk on June 14 was identified as Rustam Radzhabov, the leader of rebels in the Dagestani city. The committee reported that Radzhabov had been involved in a series of terrorist-related crimes, including bombings and murders of civilians, policeman and military servicemen. Three policemen were wounded in the special operation in Kaspiisk, including the commander of a Dagestani Interior Ministry special unit, Magomedrasul Magomedov, who later died of his wounds (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15).
On June 14, a veterinarian was shot to death in his home in the village of Tyubya in Dagestan’s Kumtorkalinsky district. Investigators said his murder may have been connected to the fact that the veterinarian also sold alcoholic beverages in his small shop (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15).
Also on June 14, Ashurulav Kurbanov, an imam in the village Mikhyevka in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district, was shot to death not far from his mosque (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 14).
On June 13, bomb disposal experts from the Federal Security Service (FSB) defused a bomb discovered the previous evening on the Tlokh-Makhachkala highway in Dagestan. The device consisted of a 5-liter canister containing ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and would have detonated with the force of one kilogram of TNT (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 13).
On June 12, the head of the tax inspectorate of the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt, Yakub Nutsalov, was shot to death by unidentified gunmen near his home in the city. Nutsalov’s driver was wounded in the attack and hospitalized (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 13).
The Kavkazsky Uzel website on June 16 quoted the head of Dagestan, Magomedsalam Magomedov, as saying that 93 counter-terrorist operations were launched in the republic during 2010 and the first five months of 2011, while during the same period, 81 terrorist attacks were prevented and 208 militants were neutralized, including 25 rebel leaders. Magomedov said it was necessary to solve problems in the areas of health care and education in order to eliminate “the social base of extremism and terrorism.” The head of the FSB’s branch in Dagestan, Sergei Kolomeitsev, was quoted as saying that in the first five months of this year, 87 rebels were killed in special operations and 24 terrorist acts were prevented. He said 96 terrorist crimes were committed during that period, in which 76 law-enforcement personnel were killed. According to Kolomeitsev, the rebels’ ranks are growing, mainly because of socio-economic problems and corruption. He also said that one of the main sources of revenue for the rebels is extorting money from businessmen and local officials (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 16).
In Kabardino-Balkaria, a large explosive device was discovered on June 14 underneath a car belonging to the head of the security service of a bank in the city of Tyrnyauz. The device was defused (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15). Local lawyers told Kavkazsky Uzel on June 15 that mass arrests took place in the republic following the death of Khasan Bogatyrev, the deputy head of the republican Interior Ministry’s anti-extremism center, who was killed in a shootout with suspected rebels during a special operation in the city of Baksan on June 12. A police lieutenant was wounded in that shootout. The lawyers told the website that those arrested were subsequently released. One of those arrested said he was beaten by police while in custody (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15).
On June 10, six suspected rebels were killed in a special operation near the Baksan-Azau federal highway not far from the village Neitrino in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district. The deputy commander of a special police unit, Colonel Zamir Dikinov, was killed in the operation, while another six commandos, including the unit’s commander, Kadir Shogenov, were wounded (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 14).
Kavkazsky Uzel reported on June 15 that 54 people were killed and 43 wounded last month in the armed conflict in the North Caucasus. Of those killed, 29 were suspected rebels and 19 were law-enforcement personnel, while of those wounded, 27 were law-enforcement personnel, 12 were civilians and four were rebels. Dagestan accounted for the greatest number killed in May (39), followed by Kabardino-Balkaria (7), Chechnya (5), North Ossetia (2) and Ingushetia (1). Of those wounded, 21 were in Dagestan, 16 were Chechnya, three were in North Ossetia, two were in Kabardino-Balkaria and one was in Ingushetia (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 15).
Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev said on June 11 that Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria are currently the most problematic areas of the North Caucasus from the point of view of security. Nurgaliev said 193 rebels were killed in the North Caucasus Federal District during the first five months of this year (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 12).