Violence in Dagestan Shows No Sign of Letting Up

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 211

Aftermath of the latest violence in Dagestan

Violence continued in Dagestan over the last several days, following the militant attacks in the republican capital of Makhachkala on November 11, in which eleven people – seven policemen and four militants – were killed.

Unidentified attackers fired grenade launchers early today (November 19) at a border guards’ base and a police headquarters in the village of Khunzakh in Dagestan’s Khunzakhsky district. No one was hurt in the incident, but the police headquarters was damaged. Unidentified gunmen fired grenade launchers and automatic weapons at a roadside café in Dagestan’s Derbent district yesterday (November 18). No one was hurt in that incident (, November 19).

Also yesterday, gunmen fired on a police car in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district, wounding three policemen from the Stavropol region city of Pyatigorsk. One of the three policemen died in the hospital today (November 19). The incident took place near the village of Mutsalaul in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district. Police found 19 5.45mm shell casings and 19 7.62mm shell casings at the scene of the shooting. A source in the law-enforcement bodies of the North Caucasus Federal District was quoted as saying that the three policemen had come from Pyatigorsk to Dagestan to take part in a special operation targeting an insurgent leader. In a separate incident yesterday (November 18), unidentified gunmen fired on a road patrol car in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala. A road patrol inspector was wounded in the attack and hospitalized (, November 18;, November 18-19).

Meanwhile, a resident of the village of Chernyevka in Dagestan’s Kizlyar district, Khanifat Gichueva, reported on November 18 that her husband, Sheikhulislam Abudupyanov, had gone to Kizlyar the previous day but had not returned. She said her husband is on file with the authorities as a follower of Salafi Islam and had been summoned by the police several times. Last year, Gichueva said, their home was surrounded by siloviki. She said she believes Dagestani law-enforcement were involved in her husband’s disappearance and insisted that he works in a bazaar and has had no conflicts with anyone. The couple has four young children (, November 18).

On November 15, police in Makhachkala discovered several hundred round rounds of ammunition for automatic rifles along with instructions for building improvised explosive devices in a disused garage in the city’s Sovietsky district (, November 16). Earlier on November 15, police in Makhachkala discovered and defused a homemade bomb consisting of a metal pipe filled with ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, bolts and screws. The device was defused using a robot and water cannon. Also on November 15, police defused an explosive device that was placed in a shop in Kizlyar by two unidentified persons who entered the shop, placed the device and warned those in the shop that it was a bomb (, November 15).

On November 14, a roadside bomb went off in Makhachkala’s Leninsky district as a police car carrying three policemen was passing by. None of the policemen were hurt and the vehicle was slightly damaged. That same day, a police officer who was being treated for a broken arm in a hospital in Khasavyurt was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman who managed to commit the crime and escape undetected. The slain officer was identified as Kiramutdin Gabiev, a senior lieutenant with the traffic police (GIBBD) (, November 15).

On November 13, security forces in the Dagestani city of Buinaksk killed three alleged militants in a special operation (, November 13).

Meanwhile, local residents in the Chechen capital Grozny were quoted yesterday (November 17) as saying that a road patrol senior lieutenant who was killed on November 14, reportedly by unidentified gunmen, was in fact the victim of a shootout between siloviki. According to Kavkazsky Uzel, eyewitnesses said the officer was killed during a confrontation between police and a group of former or current servicemen with the Zapad (West) battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

According to one eyewitness quoted by the website, traffic policemen and members of Chechnya’s OMON special task police unit tried to detain a man, but friends of his who had served in the Zapad battalion intervened, leading to a fight and then a shootout in which the road patrol officer was killed and two OMON members were seriously wounded. Another eyewitness said the fight involved police and current Zapad members, including a member of the battalion known by his nickname “Tyson.” According to other eyewitnesses, two people from each side were killed in the shootout (, November 17).