Security official killed in Russia's Dagestan

Drive-by shooting in capital of mainly Muslim North Caucasus region is the latest in a string of deadly attacks.

    Dagestan experiences almost daily bombings that officials blame on fighters with links to Chechnya [AFP]

    A high-level security official has been killed in a drive-by shooting outside in the capital city of Dagestan, in Russia's North Caucasus region, RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency, reports.

    Mohammed Murtazaliev, the deputy head of the federal penitentiary service of Dagestan, was shot dead and "his daughter, nephew and driver also died when the car caught fire following an ambush by gunmen on Friday morning in the village of Samandar, on the outskirts of Makhachkala", RIA Novosti said.

    The Investigative Committee, Russia's highest investigative body, said in a statement that the four victims were driving in a car when they were sprayed by automatic weapon fire from another vehicle.

    The mainly Muslim region of Dagestan experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and fighters with links to Chechnya.

    Three car bombs exploded in Makhachkala over a two-day period, killing at least six people and injuring more than 61 others.

    Two car bombs exploded on Thursday within metres of each other near Dagestan's interior ministry in Makhachkala,  killing one police officer and a civilian.

    The blasts followed an explosion in the same city late on Wednesday which killed at least four people and injured five passers-by.

    Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, has named the unrest there the country's chief security threat in the year before the March 2012 presidential election.

    The fighters took responsibility for a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport that killed 37 people in January, as well as twin metro attacks last year that killed 40 people.

    The Kremlin fought two wars against separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s, and the violence has since spread into the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.