Top Rebel Killed in Raid in Dagestan

Law enforcers in Dagestan killed three rebels Thursday, including the leader of a militant Islamist group that claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on local police and security officials in recent years, authorities said.

Special forces wearing body armor and armed with machine guns killed the three insurgents when they raided a house on the outskirts of the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala, an official said on condition of anonymity. Two special-forces commandos were wounded.

Among the insurgents killed in the raid was Omar Sheikhulayev, leader of the militant group Jamaat Shariat, Interfax cited a Federal Security Service spokesman as saying.

Sheikhulayev had headed the group since 2005, when its leader, Rasul Makasharipov, was killed in a police operation in Makhachkala, according to both Dagestani police and the Chechen rebel web site Kavkazcenter.com.

(Reuters, MT)