MAKHACHKALA, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - Memorial services were held in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Saturday to commemorate the victims of 1999 militant attacks led by the late, notorious Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.
Militants headed by Basayev and Saudi-born Ibn Al-Khattab attacked Dagestan in August-September 1999. Hundreds of people were killed in the subsequent fighting, a precursor to the Second Chechen War.
"Every one of us lost a person close to us or a relative and these losses will never be forgotten," the head of the Novy Kyakhulay District announced at a memorial ceremony. "We will always remember those who gave their lives to defend their land for the sake of the unity and integrity of Dagestan and Russia."
Novy Kyakhulay bore the brunt of an incursion in September 1999 into the republic, with local volunteers joining federal forces to repel militants.
A memorial service was also held in the Botlikhsky District, which came under attack in August 1999.