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19 Sep, 2009 08:36

Militant leader killed in shootout in Dagestan

Three militants have been killed during a security operation in the North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan.

The incident happened in the Republic’s Kizlyar district at 4:30 AM Moscow time, Itar-Tass reported on Saturday, with reference to an unnamed source at the Federal Security Service's department in Dagestan.

All three persons in the car, including the driver, were killed in a shootout with police, who said the men defied officers’ orders to stop their car and opened fire at policemen and security officers.

Russian officials say one of those killed, Abdullah Saadulayev, also known as Daud, was a major militant leader and a so-called Sharia court judge. The second person was identified as Sultan Magomedov. The identity of the third was not immediately established.

According to the preliminary information, none of the law enforcement officers were hurt.

The Russian Republic of Dagestan has recently seen a sharp rise in militant violence, including several attacks on police.