Russia’s counterterrorist forces killed the head of a rebel group in the North Caucasus province of Dagestan on Saturday, after a suicide bomber wounded at least 26 people, Russian news agencies reported.
“Alibek Abunazarov was on the federal wanted list for a long time. According to our information, he was involved in several terrorist acts, (as well as) attacks on, and killings of policemen,” the state-run RIA Novosti agency quoted a local law enforcement official as saying.
Three other rebels were killed in the same operation, local agencies reported.
The suicide bomber had earlier set off explosives after approaching police guarding a site where security forces had fought suspected militants late on Friday, Interfax reported, citing the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee.
The blast wounded 13 police officers and 13 civilians, Interfax said. Other reports said as many as 30 people had been hurt.
An insurgency is raging across the mainly Muslim region, where rebels angry about poverty and fueled by the ideology of global jihad want to carve out an independent state governed by Islamic law.