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7 Jan, 2010 15:20

Militants killed in Russia’s south

Two militants have been eliminated in a counter-terrorist operation in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan. They are suspected of plotting the January 6 attack on a traffic police station in the republic's capital.

According to the Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin, investigators suspected the two men were involved in the Wednesday police station terror blast. Law enforcement established the militants’ whereabouts and carried out the operation.

“The two suspects were hiding in a private house on the outskirts of [the republic’s capital] Makhachkala and they were tracked down in a joint sweep operation, conducted by the Investigation Committee, Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service,” Markin was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

“The suspects were killed after they put up armed resistance,” he added.

According to Markin, police found at the scene two homemade explosive devices, two Kalashnikov assault rifles and a gas pistol adjusted to fire bullets.

“The search also produced the authentic registration plate for the Niva vehicle which a suicide bomber used in the terror attack near the traffic police checkpoint,” he added.

According to the source in Dagestan’s FSB branch, one of the militants killed on Thursday, Ismail Ichikaev, was the organizer of a police station terror blast on September 1, 2009, that injured five people.

According to the source, Ichikaev headed one of the cruelest militant groups known for its kidnap, torture and killing of civilians.