Insurgency-related violence took place throughout the North Caucasus this past week, with incidents reported in Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya.
A freight train was the target of a bombing in Dagestan today (July 2). The incident took place on the Manas-Achi railway line around 5:25 a.m., local time, as the train, which was carrying confectionery and grain, was heading for the city of Derbent. The train’s driver and his assistant were injured in the attack. A local policeman was quoted as saying that the blast derailed twelve cars and the locomotives, and that seven of the 12 cars were overturned (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, RIA Novosti, July 2).
It was the second attack on the same railway line this week: an explosion on the Manas-Achi line on June 29 derailed two wagons carrying water. No one was hurt in that attack (AFP, June 29). There were several attacks on Dagestan’s rail system in May. On May 7, an explosion at a railway station in Derbent killed a civilian and a policeman and wounded several others. The following day, a blast damaged a railway line near Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala (EDM, May 13).
On July 1, a destroyed automobile was discovered near Makhachkala along with body parts from three different people in the wreckage. A source in the Dagestani interior ministry’s press service said that the blown up VAZ-2109 automobile was discovered in a wooded area on the Makhachkala-Talgi highway in the direction of the city of Buinaksk. The source said investigators believe an explosive device had detonated inside the car (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, July 1).
On June 29, a traffic policeman was wounded when his patrol came under fire from a passing car. A Dagestani interior ministry source said the officer was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds (Interfax, June 30). That same day, a resident of the village of Mitagi-Kazmalyar in Dagestan’s Derbent district was killed when a bomb that had been placed underneath his car detonated. The victim was reportedly the 20-year-old relative of a police officer (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 30).
The Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on June 28 that two militants were killed in a special operation in Derbent. A Dagestani FSB spokesman told ITAR-TASS that three gunmen had been blockaded in a private house in Derbent on June 27 and that they opened fire when ordered to surrender. Interfax reported that one policeman was wounded in the shootout. A Dagestani FSB source said the two militants had been identified as Feliks Kallaev (born 1989) and Zakir Magomedov (born 1987), both of whom were residents of Derbent and active members of a group that had carried out attacks on police. The source noted that four members of the same group were killed in a shootout on the outskirts of Derbent on June 16 (ITAR-TASS, Interfax, www.newsru.com, June 28; EDM, June 18).
A policeman and a militant were killed and two other policemen wounded in a shootout that took place during a special operation in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district on June 26. Unnamed Dagestani law enforcement sources were quoted as saying that the militants involved in the shootout were reportedly members of the group headed by Magomedali Vagabov, which operates in the Karabudakhkentsky district and in and around Makhachkala and is suspected of involvement in the twin suicide bombings on the Moscow metro in March. Dagestan’s Deputy Interior Minister, Magomed Ismailov, named the slain militant as Dzhamalutdin Dzhabatov, whom he identified as the head of the “Karmakhinsky sabotage-terrorist group.” According to Ismailov, Dzhabatov was on the wanted list for terrorism and was involved in a June 24 attack that killed two policemen in the village of Karamakhi in Dagestan’s Buinaksk district (www.newsru.com, June 26).
A police major was shot and killed by unidentified attackers in the village of Leninaul on June 26, and a local businessman was killed the same day in the village of Chontaul in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district when a bomb underneath his car detonated after he opened the vehicle’s door. Also on June 26, bomb disposal experts defused an improvised explosive device (IED) that had been placed under a policeman’s car in the city of Kaspiisk (RIA Novosti, Interfax, June 26).
A bomb destroyed a car belonging to a police officer in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria today (July 2). The car belonged to a staffer with the Nalchik affiliate of the Russian interior ministry Krasnodar institute and the explosion took place as he was walking up to the vehicle. Neither he nor anyone else was hurt in the incident.
On June 30, an improvised explosive device detonated at a traffic police post in Nalchik. No one was hurt in that blast, which had an estimated force equivalent of 110 grams of TNT. On June 27, another IED detonated on the Prokhladny-Elbrus federal highway near the village of Verkhny Baksan in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district. No one was hurt in that explosion (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, July 2).
In Ingushetia on June 30, unidentified gunmen fired on a car that was being driven by a policeman on the Kavkaz federal highway near the village of Yandare in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. No one was hurt in the incident. On June 29, two suspected militants were killed after they opened fire on police who tried to stop their car in the village Plievo. On June 26, a policeman was killed in the city Malgobek when a bomb that had been placed underneath his car detonated. Also on June 26, one person was killed and another wounded when unidentified attackers fired on a car in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. On June 25, two traffic policemen were killed when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in Nazran. That same day, another policeman was wounded when his car was bombed in Nazran (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, June 30).
In Chechnya, a suicide bomber blew himself up on June 30 outside a theater in the capital Grozny where Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov, was waiting for a concert to begin. Five police officers and two civilians were injured in the blast, but Kadyrov was not hurt (Associated Press, June 30).