MAKHACHKALA, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - An unknown assailant opened fire on police officers in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Saturday evening and was killed by return fire, the Interior Ministry reported.
One policeman was wounded in the clash that occurred in the northern Dagestani district of Khasavyurt.
“When police officers tried to stop a VAZ-2114 car for document check, a man inside the car fired at them,” a ministry spokesman said. “He was killed by return fire.”
“One police officer has been hospitalized with wounds,” he added.
An investigation is underway.
Meanwhile, Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) said the killed attacker, identified as Arsen Kuramagomedov born in 1985, had been involved in three murders and 19 robberies.
NAC also said a handgun and ammunition were seized from the scene.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to the republic of Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-October that more than 300 terrorists were killed in the North Caucasus “in the past few months.” “Terrorism” in official Russian politics is used loosely and in preference to more neutral terms, such as “insurgency.”
Over a decade after the war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya ended, Russian security forces continue to fight militants in the volatile region.