MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) – Four militants and three members of Russian security forces were killed Wednesday in a shootout in Russia’s volatile republic of Dagestan, anti-terror officials said.
The security forces reported that among those killed was militant leader Marat Idrisov, who was allegedly responsible for a bombing outside a traffic police precinct that killed three last month in the southern city of Pyatigorsk.
At least five officers were injured in the shooting Wednesday that began when a group of militants were cornered in a house in the village of Karlanyurt in the republic of Dagestan, security forces said.
“The active phase of the special operation is now over; Federal Security Service bomb experts are searching the buildings and surrounding area,” the National Antiterrorism Committee said in a statement.
The shootout came in the wake of twin suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd late last month that killed 34 people and injured many others. The attacks heightened concerns about the terror threat ahead of the Olympic Games due to start next month in Sochi, also located in the south of Russia.
An Islamist insurgency, once widespread in the Russian republic of Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years, with attacks and shootouts regularly reported in Dagestan and other neighboring republics.