A number of recent terrorist attacks in Russia's volatile north Caucasus region have been linked to Khamzat Shamilev, the Chechen militant leader killed on Saturday during a special operation, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Saturday.
"As a qualified demolition specialist, Shamilev himself planned and carried out bomb attacks using improvised explosive devices in the Real and Berkat markets in [Chechen capital] Grozny in October 2009 and July 2010 and also the bombing of the Staropromyslovsky district prosecutor's office on July 27, 2010," the FSB said in a press release.
In the explosion in the Real market alone, 16 people were killed, it said.
Since 2008, Shamilev was regularly sent to militant leader Doku Umarov in the Chechen capital of Grozny to carry out terrorist activities, the FSB said.
Umarov, who styles himself as "the Emir of the Caucasus," has claimed responsibility for the two most significant recent terrorist attacks in Russia: the derailment of a high-speed Nevsky Express train in 2009 and this year's Moscow metro bombings.
Shamilev opened fire on police after they blockaded him in a house in Chechen capital Grozny. When he realized that he would not be able to escape, he blew himself up with a grenade.
Earlier on Saturday, police in neighboring Dagestan killed another militant leader, Magomedali Vagabov, who is believed to be behind the March 29 suicide bombings on the Moscow metro that killed 40 people and injured 100 others.
MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti)