Five suspected Islamist militants have been killed in the North Caucasas region of Dagestan, a spokesperson for Russian security forces said.
Russian security services have killed five suspected Islamist militants in a raid in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, the national Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) said on Monday.
Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed local law enforcement source as saying the head of an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, Ali Abu Mukhammad, or Alisakhab Kebekov, may be among those killed.
The Moscow-based Caucasian Knot website, which tracks the restive mainly Muslim region, said a website backing the insurgents had also reported his death but there was no confirmation from Russian officials or militant groups.
The NAK said special forces from Russia’s Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry had surrounded a house in the Gerey-Avlak suburb of the town of Buynaksk on Sunday and negotiated with those inside before shooting started.
A child was allowed to leave but two women as well as the suspected militants refused to come out, it said.
Rights activists and Kremlin critics accuse Russia of using heavy-handed tactics in the North Caucasus which violate the law and increase resentment among locals. Moscow says the use of force is necessary to protest public safety.