Anti-terror official killed in Russia's restive Caucasus

12th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A key anti-terror official died and his colleague was wounded Sunday in a skirmish with militants in the volatile Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria where Russia is locked in a war of attrition with Islamist militants, officials said.

Khasan Bogatyryov, deputy head of the regional interior ministry's anti-extremism department, was killed during the latest security sweep in the town of Baksan, police spokeswoman Marina Kyasova told AFP.

A spokeswoman for regional investigators, Tatyana Nauzhokova, said separately another police official was wounded as a result of Sunday's shootout as two attackers opened fire on the policemen.

Russia is fighting a simmering Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, where it fought two wars with Chechen separatists in the 1990s, and attacks on police and government officials in the region are a near-daily occurrence.

Kabardino-Balkaria, which is known for its ski resorts, is located near the volatile regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia but has until recently seen less violence.

In a separate incident, two policemen came under attack from armed militants in Ingushetia late Saturday, regional investigators said in a statement.

The two off-duty policemen received multiple wounds and were hospitalised, while their companion -- a local resident -- died of his wounds.

© 2011 AFP

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