Russia Update: FSB Kills Three Militants in Kabardino-Balkaria; One Said To Have Trained in Syria

December 24, 2015
FSB officers in Kabardino-Balkaria. Archive photo from FSB press office.

Live Updates: Three armed militants who reportedly resisted law-enforcement officers were shot dead in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria this morning, including one said to have trained in Syria.

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FSB Kills Three Militants in Kabardino-Balkaria; One Said To Have Trained in Syria

Three armed militants who reportedly resisted law-enforcement officers were shot dead in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, TASS reported, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB) National Anti-Terrorist Committee.
One of the three militants was said to have been trained in Syria. TASS reported (translation by The Interpreter):

At about 6:20 in the morning during surveillance operations undertaken by the FSB, on a road in a mountainous and wooded area near the village of Lechinkai, law-enforcement officers tried to stop a suspicious car. “In response, the persons inside opened fire,” the NAK commented.

“During the ensuing clash, three bandits were neutralized. Preliminarily, their identities were established. Among those neutralized is the head of the bandit group, Nazir Tokhov, born 1989. According to information available at the NAC Operations Headquarters, he underwent training in a camp to train militants in Syria and directly took part in combat actions on the side of an international terrorist organization,” sources said at the Information Center.

“Then, after receiving an assignment from one of the leaders of the terrorists, he returned to the [Kabardino-Balkaria Republic] to carry out terrorist activity.”

The NAC said the others in the gang were people who had previously been convicted of unspecified crimes and planned to commit terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus. Law-enforcers reported that they found firearms and ammunition in the car in which the militants were traveling. 
Two militants were previously shot dead after a clash with federal forces in Atazhukino in Kabardino-Balkaria on June 5 of this year, Federal Press reported.

As we reported in July, 6 militants killed in a clash with police in Nalchik, capital of Karbardino-Balkaria were said to be connected to ISIS.

Caucasian Knot, a regional media site, said they had no information from any relatives of those killed today.

Yesterday Caucasian Knot reported on the case of Khusen Berezgov, born 1985, a resident of Kabardino-Balkaria, accused of assisting three militants who were later killed in a raid by police: Andzor Guchapshev, Martin Abazov, and Kazbulat Dyshekov. He was said to help them move around undetected and supply them from food and also stored weapons and ammunition, according to the Investigative Committee office in the republic. ¬†Berezgov faces up to 10 years of prison for “assisting an illegal armed formation” and possessing illegal weapons and explosives.

In separate news, Caucasian Knot has reported that the authorities have imposed a Counter-Terrorist Operation (CTO) regimen today, December 24 in another North Caucasus republic, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, in the Cherkessk, Adyge-Khablysky and Prikubansky districts, for the first time since 2012. Officials said they needed to intercept and expose a terrorist attack.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick