FSB agents killed while fighting gang linked to Moscow Metro blasts

Several operatives of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had been killed during a firefight with a gang suspected of being behind the recent Moscow Metro terrorist attacks.

Several other FSB officers were wounded in the Tuesday operation in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, head of the agency Aleksandr Bortnikov reported on Wednesday.

He added that more detail on the operation will be revealed later.

Meanwhile, Interfax news agency cites an unnamed source linked to local law enforcement, who said the operation in question is most likely a raid on the gang of Magomedali Vagabov. The man is believed to be one of the organizers of the bombings in Moscow and was a close friend of one of the suicide terrorists.

Earlier, Bortnikov said that the FSB had identified all perpetrators of the March double attack, which left 40 people killed and 88 injured. Some of them have already been killed.

The head of the Federal Security Service also said the agency had prevented 23 terror attacks in Russia this year. 12 of them were planned for Moscow.

During the counter-terrorist operations, over 250 suspects have been detained.

Bortnikov apologized for the agency not having been able to prevent all the terrorist attacks – among them the March attacks in the Moscow Metro and in Dagestan – even though no country is safe from terrorism.

Bortnikov added that the FSB is working hard to stop terrorists from creating fear and panic, including ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.