Russian security forces have killed a regional leader of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist group. Several other militants were also killed in the raid.
The leader of IS’ North Caucasus branch was killed on Saturday along with four other militants, Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, said in a statement.
Rustam Asildarov, an “emir” who swore allegiance to IS in 2014, was killed in a raid in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, after he and his fellow militants refused to surrender.
Police stormed the single-family home where the militants were hiding after they opened fire on the police during the negotiation process. The FSB said that Asildarov was behind several attacks, and some plots that were never carried out, such as one meant to target New Year’s Eve revelers in Moscow in 2010.
IS named Asildarov the governor of a newly declared Caucasus province and has claimed responsibility for attacks in Dagestan. When he was declared the group’s leader in the region, the US State Department officially labeled him a “foreign terrorist fighter.”
Many foreign jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq are known to come from the region.
blc/jlw (dpa, AFP)