Nine killed in Dagestan counter-terror raid

Nine people suspected of plotting an attack in Russia were killed in a shootout with security forces in Dagestan, the country’s National Anti-Terror Committee has said.

The operation was launched on Saturday, April 21 in Derbent, Dagestan, after police received a tip-off about a group hiding in the city, who allegedly planned to commit an attack on May 1, traditionally a holiday in Russia, according to a statement from the committee.

“As a result of the targeted search, two gangs were spotted in different districts of Derbent. After having being offered to lay down arms and surrender, the criminals opened gunfire. In a brief exchange of fire, the gunmen were neutralized,” NAC said, Tass reported.

A Spetsnaz special forces officer was wounded during the operation.

An earlier Tass report said two counter-terror operations were underway in Derbent.

The Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan, one of the poorest and most unstable regions of Russia, lies east of Chechnya. It has seen a number of attacks in recent years, with several assaults claimed by Islamic State.

On February 18, five women were shot dead in an attack on an Orthodox church in Kizlyar in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the assault, saying on Telegram that a soldier of Islam, Khalil Daghestani, attacked the church, killing five people and wounding four others.

The regional internal affairs ministry said in a statement that the assailant used a hunting rifle, and that four women were killed on the spot, while the attacker was “eliminated.”

On March 24, a man killed during a counter-terrorism operation in Dagestan was aligned with Islamic State, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, Tass reported.

With reporting from AFP

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