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12 Feb, 2008 10:57

Al-Qaeda militant killed in Russia's south

An al-Qaeda member has been killed in Russia's southern Republic of Ingushetia. Khaled Youssef Mohammad al-Elitat was the successor of Abu Khavs, who was the al-Qaeda leader in the region until his death in 2006, the local Interior Ministry reports.

The body of the Jordanian-born man was found at a militant base in the western part of the republic. According to investigators, al-Elitat could have been killed during a clash with other militants.

Meanwhile, in Russia's southern Republic of Dagestan, a group of alleged militants have been killed in a special security forces operation.

The group were on a wanted list after a series of assassination attempts on police.

Security checks in the area are continuing, according to Ilmira Akalova, a spokesperson for the region's Internal Affairs Ministry.

She said that on previous days, security forces received intelligence, saying a group of armed militants was hiding in Sasatli village  the the Babayurt district of Dagestan.

“The hiding place was cornered by law enforcement officers. The militants were asked to surrender, but they opened fire,” Akalova said.

During the shoot-out that followed, a senior security officer was killed and three policemen wounded.