NB: This story replaces an earlier one by the Associated Press on the same subject.
MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s anti-terrorism committee said Friday that an alleged warlord and four suspected militants had been killed in a raid on a home in the restive southern republic of Dagestan.
The alleged warlord, Sherif Akhmedov, had been suspected of being “directly involved” in at least 20 terrorism-related attacks, including on police and other officials, as well as a synagogue, in the past two years alone, the committee said in a statement.
Acting on a tip, Russian special forces surrounded the home in Derbent on the Caspian Sea and in an ensuing gunfight killed the suspects, who had refused to surrender, the statement said.
Attacks on security forces, police and civilians occur regularly in the North Caucasus, generated by ethnic, religious and political rivalries, as well as poverty and corruption.
The violence is also fed by an Islamist insurgency, which has been especially resilient in Dagestan and fueled a series of bloody post-Soviet separatist wars in the neighboring republic of Chechnya.