Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Security: Russian troops kill 16 gunmen in Dagestan

Special services of Dagestan finished a special operation against terrorists over the weekend. The operation became the largest counter-terrorist operation conducted in the Russian Federation in recent times. Sixteen terrorists were killed during two days of fierce battles in one of the regions of the republic and in its capital, Makhachkala. Five Russian military men were killed and two others were wounded in the military actions. Four civilians were injured too. The Russian military command said that the operation could resume: another terrorist group was detected in the same region of the republic.

The special operation near the settlement of Kakashura began on March 19, immediately after the gunmen attacked a group of Russian troops. The commandoes of the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry and the Federal Security Bureau blockaded the gunmen in the woods near the village, but the terrorists showed strong resistance to the federal troops.

The bodies of 12 terrorists were found in the woods on Saturday. All of them were armed very well – assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenade launchers were found nearby.

Russian special services originally believed that they had encircled a terrorist group of Magomedali Vagabov, a field commander who has been on federal and international wanted lists for years. However, it later became known that the bandit group was headed by Abdugapur Zakaryev, another well-known terrorist leader. His body is the only one that has been identified yet. At least three of the killed gunmen were said to be foreign mercenaries.

“It is too early to say whether there were foreign mercenaries among the terrorists or not. There were no IDs found with the bodies, and their faces were severely mutilated, because all of them died of artillery fire,” a local military official said.

Four other terrorists were destroyed in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala. Russia’s FSB agents detected a group of gunmen who were reportedly working on a series of terrorist attacks in the city. All of them were young men aged between 22-27. They were members of the terrorist group known as Jamaat of Makhachkala – the criminal gang of Omar Shikhulayev, who had been killed in the beginning of February of this year.

Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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