Caucasus on alert: brazen murders rock Russia’s south
Cop-killing sniper on the loose in Dagestan
A police officer has been killed after a traffic police outpost in the capital of Russia’s Southern republic of Dagestan came under repeated gun fire.The attacker is thought to have been using a sniper rifle with a silencer.
In a separate attack, a policeman was shot in the head in another district of the city, but survived and was admitted to hospital.
It was the second attack on police in the city within a few hours.
One day earlier, presumably the same gunman opened fire on a police squad patrolling Makhachkala’s central square, just meters from the republic’s Interior Ministry, killing two police officers and wounding one. Experts say in that case, too, a sniper rifle with a silencer was used.
Traffic police stations in the region have been ordered to beef up their security. A special police task force is searching for the sniper throughout the city.
Unrest in neighboring republic
A string of political murders has also rocked the neighboring republic of Ingushetia.
The Minister of Construction was killed in his office, while the republic’s President has just recovered from a road bomb attack on his convoy.
President Dmitry Medvedev said the increasing level of violence was aimed at destabilizing the region by challenging federal law-enforcement bodies.
The president has also promised every effort to find the murderers of human rights activists in Chechnya, making it a high priority.
During the week at least six militants were killed and dozens arrested.