Deadly gunfight between officials of the same family in Daghestan

27 November 2017
Imam Yaraliyev (strana.ru)

Two people were killed and four wounded in a gunfight in the Magaramkent District of Daghestan. The shootout, between members of  the same family, involved a number of former and current officials. Six people have been arrested.

The conflict arose on the evening of 23 November in the village of Azadogly, near the border with Azerbaijan, after several men from the nearby city of Derbent showed up demanding money from a local gravel factory.

A number of current and former officials and relatives of officials were involved in the fight. This included relatives of both former Mayor of Derbent and Prosecutor of Daghestan Imam Yaraliyev and acting head of Magaramkert District Farid Akhmedov.

All the participants of the conflict were reportedly related to each other.

According to accounts by local residents, Rafik Yaraliyev, a member of the City Assembly of Derbent arrived with his entourage in three black cars and proceeded to a gravel factory near the village.

‘Unofficially, [acting head Farid] Akhmedov owns the plant, but it’s officially registered in the name of his cousin Elmar Yaraliyev. Derbent people came to get money from the factory. They said: ‘this is our territory, pay us money for building the plant here’. Magaramkert’s people became unhappy: ‘why is this your territory? This is our district and we have our own leader’, Akhmed, a resident of Magaramkert District, told OC Media.

Unconfirmed reports suggest around 15–20 people took part in the shootout.

Another local resident says that violence broke out when several young men from Derbent beat up Elmar Yaraliyev, escalating into a gunfight.

‘The first to start a fight was the deputy from Derbent. He was the first to shoot too. And then he ran away’, a local resident calling himself Muslim told OC Media.

Rafik Yaraliyev is the 37-year-old nephew of the former head of the city of Derbent Imam Yaraliyev, a member of the ‘Patriots of Russia’ party. A special operation to capture him was launched, and he was detained a several hours later.

A number of residents of Magaramkent District are among the dead. One is Elmar Yaraliyev’s brother, who is the cousin of Farid Akhmedov, head of the district. According to insiders, Akhmedov himself was abroad on the day of the incident, but after learning of the incident flew back to Daghestan.

According to a Derbent Facebook group ‘Pearl of the South’, one of the participants in the fight who was wounded was Telman Serkerov, who in 2014 was tried and acquitted for the murder of a Derbent resident.

‘In 2014, Judge Gasanov of Derbent City Court released Serkerov on account of him being in a detention facility (for 8 months) at the time of the investigation’, the group reports.

Six people were detained after the incident.

‘The detainees were taken to police stations. They have been interrogated and have given evidence. There is no information about the launch of a criminal case’, a source in Daghestan’s law enforcement told OC Media.

Fierce, independent journalism

Let’s be honest, the media situation in the Caucasus is grim. Every day we are accused of ‘serving the enemy’ whoever that enemy may be. Our journalists have been harassed, arrested, beaten, and exiled. But nevertheless, we persevere. For us this is a labour of love. Unfortunately, we cannot run OC Media on love alone, journalism is expensive and funding is scarce. Our sole mission is to serve the interests of all peoples of the region. Support us today and join us in the fight for a better Caucasus.

Support Us