Gunmen target fire chief in Russian Caucasus

13th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Gunmen shot dead a village fire chief in the restive Dagestan region of the Russian Caucasus where authorities are fighting an Islamic insurgency, the regional interior ministry said Saturday.

Several unidentified gunmen opened fire on the car carrying captain Gaidar Gaidarov, head of the fire service in a local village near Khasavyurt at 1 a.m. local time (2100GMT Friday).

Gaidarov died on the spot while his driver was hospitalised with stomach wounds, the interior ministry said on its website.

On Friday two men were shot in Khasavyurt when gunmen opened fire on a central street near a mosque. One was killed instantly while the other died in hospital.

Islamist website Kavkaz Center later said one of the victims was a policeman while the other formerly worked in the police force.

Dagestan, a Muslim Caspian Sea region known for its ancient culture and tapestry of ethnic groups, experiences almost daily violence officials blamed on militants seeking to establish an Islamic state across the Russian Caucasus.

Russia has fought two wars with Chechen separatists in the North Caucasus since the mid-1990s, and attacks targeting police and government officials have now spread to neighboring regions.

© 2011 AFP

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