Russian law enforcers have killed a close aid of Doku Umarov, the most notorious terrorist leader in the country, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee reports.
The slain militant was identified as Islam Atiev, 23, who was a member of the gang led by Doku Umarov. Police suspected him of numerous attacks on officers, some of which involved the use of improvised explosive devices.
A confrontation between three militants hiding in a house in the Khasavyurt region of Dagestan in Russia’s south and security troops on Saturday involved a blast in the building, sources from local law enforcement told Interfax earlier.
The blast was most likely from an explosive device, which the militants had with them. The militants apparently were planning to use the bomb as a diversion to cover their escape, but probably botched it.
Atiev was shot and killed as he was trying to shoot his way through the blockade, the Committee said. It was not immediately clear from the report whether the two other militants were also killed or captured alive.
The operation, in which Atiev was killed, was conducted in the Dagestan village of Petrovskoye. The militants were cut off in a house by special operation troops of the Federal Security Service and local police on Friday.
For several hours security troops tried to convince the militants to surrender, but without success. Eventually a siege of the house was ordered on Saturday morning, during which the bomb went off. The blast also set the house on fire.
Umarov, who operates in the Russian North Caucasus, is believed to be responsible for several high-profile terrorist attacks in Russia, including the bombing of a Moscow airport in 2011 and the bombing of the Moscow Metro in 2010.
He was designated as a terrorist by the US in 2010. In 2011, the United Nations Security Council included the militant – who styles himself as "the Emir of the Caucasus" – on its terrorist list.