Friday Sep 14, 201212:12 PM GMT
Russian forces kill militant leader in Dagestan
Russian police in the Republic of Dagestan (file photo)
Russian police in the Republic of Dagestan (file photo)
Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:10PM
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Russian law enforcement forces have killed the leader of the militant group Kizlyar gang in the violence-plagued North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.


Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said on Thursday that Oki Bilal Nazhmudinov was killed along with a comrade as they engaged in bitter clashes with Russian soldiers, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Nazhmudinov, 32, was wanted for organizing a blast in Kizlyar -- situated 1,473 kilometers (915 miles) southeast of Moscow -- in 2010. At least 12 people lost their lives in the act of terror.

He was also linked to the shooting of a local deputy imam later the same year.

Nazhmudinov became the head of the Kizlyar gang in June 2012 after his predecessor, Rustam Gasanov, was shot dead along with six others.

Russia has been fighting militants since the mid 1990s in its North Caucasus region, where the republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia have been the scene of sporadic attacks and militant clashes.

Violence first broke out in Chechnya in 1994, when 250,000 people were forced to flee to neighboring territories because of a war between Chechen separatists and the Russian army.

After a short-lived period of relative peace from 1996 to 1999, war resumed following attacks blamed on Chechen militant groups.

An estimated 100,000 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in the conflict.

MP/JR
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