Start of 2012 Sees No Let-Up in North Caucasus Violence

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 9

Violence in Dagestan, January 11 (Source: RT)

In Dagestan, two policemen were wounded today (January 13) when a police road patrol unit was attacked in the town of Izerbash. A Dagestani law-enforcement source reported that the incident took place shortly after midnight when gunmen driving in a car opened fire on the unit (, January 13).

Yesterday (January 12), the detonator of an improvised explosive device went off when a 22-year-old shepherd stepped on the IED in the village of Sergokala in Dagestan’s Sergokalinsky district. The device itself did not detonate, so neither the shepherd nor anyone else was hurt in the incident (, January 12).

On January 11, a Russian Interior Ministry Internal Troops serviceman was wounded and a rebel was killed in a shootout near the village of Bolshaya Arshevka in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district. The gun battle occurred when a group of servicemen came under fire while conducting a reconnaissance mission. At least three militants were surrounded following the initial shootout and the federal forces called in reinforcements, reportedly including army aviation (, January 11).

Also on January 11, one police bomb disposal expert was killed and ten other policemen were wounded while trying to defuse a huge IED discovered in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district, on the side of the road along a section of the Kavkaz federal highway two kilometers from the village of Komsomolskoe. The device consisted of six plastic 65-kilogram plastic containers placed 10-15 meters apart along the roadside and connected by wires. The containers were filled with ammonium nitrate and shards of metal.

On January 10, a police senior lieutenant who is acting head of the traffic police in Dagestan’s Tarumovsky district and his 15-year-old daughter were wounded in the village of Novogeorgievka when gunmen opened fire on the car in which they were traveling. That same day, the village of Gimry in Dagestan’s Untsukulsky district was blockaded by police and security forces. Local residents were quoted as saying that a large number of troops and heavy armor were deployed in the village, which was placed under a curfew.

On the evening of January 9, a transport police unit came under fire at a railway crossing in Dagestan’s Tarumovsky district. No one was hurt in the incident (,, January 10-11).

On January 9, a road patrol police unit came under fire on the Kavkaz federal highway in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district. A district police source told the Interfax news agency that unidentified attackers fired at the post, first with a grenade launcher andthen with automatic rifles. Two police cars and the post’s building were damaged in the attack but no one was hurt (, January 9).

On January 8, Federal Security Service (FSB) bomb disposal experts defused an IED that would have exploded with the force of 35 kilograms of TNT. The device, consisting of a 9-liter zinc-coated pail filled with explosives and a detonator, was found inside an automobile on the outskirts of the village of Nechaevka in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district on January 7. Two sacks filled with ammonium nitrate were found in the trunk of the car. Police subsequently determined that the car belonged to a murdered inspector with the delivery department of the Russian Pension Fund, whose body was discovered on December 30 (, January 8-9).

On January 6, two young men opened fire with automatic weapons in a shop in the village of Bairam-aul in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district. The two attackers shot up the shop’s counters and overturned all of the shop’s merchandise. However, they did not take any of the merchandise, and no one was hurt in the incident. That same day, a 12-year-old boy was injured in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala after he picked up a plastic bag he found on the side of a road. According to sources in Dagestan’s Interior Ministry, the bag contained a small IED (, January 6).

In Ingushetia today (January 13), the former head of the criminal police service of the city of Karabulak, Ilez Nalgiev, was seriously wounded in a bomb blast. According to relatives of Nalgiev, an IED detonated as he was entering his home in the village of Surkhakhi in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. Nalgiev was taken to the hospital and placed in intensive care (, January 13).

On January 12, a staffer with the anti-economic crimes department of Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry was hospitalized following an attack by unknown gunmen. The attack occurred on the Kavkaz federal highway.

In Kabardino-Balkaria, two suspected rebels were killed in a shootout with security forces in the republic’s Baksan district on January 11. A third suspected rebel was wounded and taken into custody. A rebel bunker was found at the site of the shootout, along with grenades, a pistol and an IED. Following the shootout, a counter-terrorist regime was imposed in Baksan district (, January 12).

On January 10, a stableman and farmer were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen at a farm in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district. On January 9, police in the republic’s Urvan district killed a 25-year-old man who allegedly opened fire on them after they stopped his car. That same day, police in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Baksan district killed an armed man who allegedly resisted arrest. He was identified as Z. Khashpagov, an alleged “active supporter of the illegal armed formations” suspected of involvement in attacks on police, including the December 31 murder of police lieutenant colonel Murat Shkhagumov (, January 10).

In North Ossetia, two policemen were shot and wounded in the village of Zmeiskaya in the republic’s Elkhotovsky district on January 10. Police named the perpetrator of the attack as Artur Gurtsiev, a 23-year-old Zmeiskaya resident and rebel supporter. On January 11, North Ossetian and Ingushetian security forces shot and killed Ruslan Kodzoev, a wanted alleged rebel, in the North Ossetian village of Chermen (, January 10-11).

In Chechnya, four policemen were killed and sixteen wounded after they were ambushed by militants in the mountains of southern Chechnya on January 8. According to the Russian Interior Ministry, five militants were killed and two wounded in the ensuing gun battle (Associated Press, January 8; EDM, January 12).