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ISRAPIL VALIDZHANOV KILLED IN DAGESTAN

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Russian security forces on Monday 04/18/2011, killed Israpil  Validzhanov, a militant leader who masterminded attacks in the North Caucasus and threatened Moscow, federal authorities said.

A decade after federal forces drove a separatist government from power in Chechnya, Moscow is fighting Islamist insurgents seeking to create an independent state in Russia’s mostly Muslim North Caucasus.

Russian news agencies quoted the National Anti-terror Committee (NAK) as saying security forces shot dead Israpil  Validzhanov and three companions early on Monday in Dagestan, the violence-plagued province east of Chechnya.

It said the militants, allegedly, had opened fire on members of the security forces who tried to stop their car.

Israpil  Validzhanov was the top representative in Dagestan of North Caucasus insurgency leader Doku Umarov, who claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on Moscow’s busiest airport in January, in which 37 people were killed (see – Domodedovo Blast ).

Known among insurgents as Amir Khasan, Israpil  Validzhanov received training in a separatist militant camp in 1998 in Chechnya, where he fought federal forces which entered the region the following year in the second of two wars since 1994, NAK said. Israpil  Validzhanov was also responsible for dozens of attacks since the war died down a decade ago..

* In a separate shootout, on Wednesday 04/20/2011 at about 04:20, a gunman killed in a special operation in Dagestan turned out to be Sabitbai Omanov a former accomplice of Ingush warlord Alexander Tichomirov nicknamed Sayed Buryatsky killed about a year ago, a spokesman for Russian’s National Antiterrorism Centre (NAK) told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

According to Dagestan police, Sabitbai Omanov, born in 1983, was a resident of Kazakhstan, Central Asia. According to NAK’s Dagestan office, the killed gunman was a chief bomb specialist in the Makhachkala gang, and after its former leader Magomed Sheikhov was killed, Sabitbai Omanov took over the leadership. He was trained in Pakistan and was a member of illegal armed groups in Ingushetia..

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