Anti-terror official killed in Russian Caucasus: ministry

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A leading anti-terror official in the Russian Caucasus was killed on Sunday when his car came under fire in the violence-torn region of Dagestan, the local interior ministry said.

Unknown individuals fired on the car of Gapal Gadzhiyev, the head of the anti-extremism department of the interior ministry for the Northern Caucasus, as he was driving in the Dagestan capital Makhachkala, officials said.

"The officer died from his multiple wounds on the spot," a spokesman for the local interior ministry was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Russia has in recent years been fighting an increasingly deadly Islamist-fuelled insurgency in the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia which has claimed scores of lives annually.

The situation has worsened considerably in Dagestan in the last months and three soldiers were killed earlier this month when a suicide bomber rammed a Russian military base in the region.

The latest killing comes after a suicide bomber killed 17 and wounded at least 150 on Thursday in an attack on a market in North Ossetia, the only majority Christian region in the Russian Caucasus.

© 2010 AFP

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