Russia says N. Caucasus rebels shot-agency

Source: Reuters

MOSCOW, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Russian security services have killed two Islamist rebels behind attacks that have fueled fears of a broadening insurrection in the north Caucasus region, according to Interfax news agency. The agency quoted the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying Rustam Dzortov and Zaur Uzhakov, shot dead in Ingushetia late on Friday, were behind a June assassination attempt on the president of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and the August suicide bombing of a police station that killed 25 people. Moscow has declared victory, perhaps prematurely, in its campaign against separatist rebels in Chechnya; but shootings and bombings have spread in recent months to the neighbouring, largely Muslim regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia on Russia’s southern fringes. Russian television showed film of the saloon car used by the two men slewed sideways across a narrow road by a railway bridge. “Dzortov…headed the entire criminal underworld in Ingushetia and was the immediate organizer of the attack on President Yevkurov,” an FSB spokesman told the Russian news agency. “His accomplice Uzhakhov was directly responsible for the organisation of the terrorist attack near the Nazran district police department.” Islamist rebels seek to establish an Islamic state on Russia’s southern fringes. Moscow, which believes the insurgents are backed by militants from the Middle East and south Asia, sees suppression of separatism as essential to the stability of a country that spans 11 time zones and dozens of nationalities. Yevkurov returned to Ingushetia last month after recuperating in Moscow and has since warned that more suicide bombings are possible. (Reporting by Alfred Kueppers; editing by Ralph Boulton)
spotted by RS

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