Three ISIS-linked militants were eliminated by Russian anti-terror operators in Dagestan, North Caucasus. Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) reported that a group of three armed men were detected Dagestan’s Magaramkentsky district bordering Azerbaijan.
A special detachment of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), who specializes in counter-terrorism, was deployed in the mountainous region to track and eliminate the militants.
The FSB troops found and ambushed the three militants asking them to surrender. Armed with the Kalashnikov assault rifles, pistols, hand grenades and homemade bombs, the three ISIS-linked militants opened fire and were quickly eliminated, according to a NAC statement.
According to RT, the suspects have been preliminary identified as:
– Mahmoud Mahmoudov (b. 1979), leader of Tabasaransk (ethnic group living in Dagestan) armed gang, in hiding since 2012
– Robert Melikov (b. 1985), leader of the regional criminal group of the Suleyman-Stalsky district of Dagestan
– Gasan Mamedyarov (b. 1989), militant recently returned from Syria, member of Melikov’s gang
The small group, whom have all swore allegiance to Islamic State, were on the federal wanted list. One of the militant recently returned from Syria after fighting alongside the Islamic State.
The three militants were linked to various crimes in the region. Terrorist activities and killing police officers were the two major crimes made by the small team and were also suspected of slaying local hunters in September.
The FSB and other local law enforcement officers sustained no injuries during the operation.
It is estimated that about a third of the 3,000 Russians who have gone to fight alongside Islamic State militants in Syria are from Dagestan. One of President Vladimir Putin’s goal in Syria is to prevent Russians fighting with Islamic State from coming back.
Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim republic in southern Russia where an Islamic insurgency has simmered for years.