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Local ‘Islamic State leader’ killed in Daghestan shootout

8 September 2017
Screenshot from a video allegedly showing the killing of Valid Motsayev (Golos Dagestana/Instagram)

An alleged militant and a civilian were killed during a counterterrorism operation in the Daghestani city of Khasavyurt on 5 September. The alleged leader of the Khasavyurt militant group, Valid ‘Abu Dujana’ Motsayev, was killed on a street in the city.

Kavkaz.Realii reported that Motsayev had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

According to a statement from Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee, Motsayev, who ‘directed the implementation of criminal actions in the northern regions of Daghestan’, refused to lay down arms and surrender to the authorities, following which he opened fire and wounded a police officer.

‘The offender was neutralised by return fire’, the statement reads.

What is a counterterrorism operation regime

The 2006 law ‘On counteracting terrorism’, allows security services to declare a counterterrorism operation regime giving them the right to:

  • Check identity documents and detain anyone who cannot produce them;
  • Control and suspend telephone and other communications;
  • Access and enter all premises without a warrant;
  • Commandeer official and private vehicles at will;
  • Set up checkpoints to restrict movement of vehicles and people
  • Introduce a quarantine;
  • Remove people and objects from the operation zone;
  • Restrict the sale of weapons, ammunition, explosives, drugs, and alcohol.

Social media–based news outlet Golos Dagestana published two graphic videos allegedly showing the killing of Motsayev. The first shows an armed man running in the street, who then begins to stagger and falls to the ground.

While the man is lying wounded on the ground, a car appears to deliberately swerve to run him over. The man is still struggling to get up when a security officer approaches him, the video then cuts off for several seconds, restarting to show the man lying motionless as another officer approaches.

The second video shows a similar-looking car running over the man for a second time. Four men in civilian clothes then exit the car and gather around the body.

‘A criminal case was opened for “attempted murder of law enforcement officers” and killing a civilian. I don’t know whether there is an investigation into the running over by a car’, a source in Daghestani law enforcement told OC Media.

The other man killed in the shootout was a 19-year-old named Ibragim from the village of Sasitli in the Tsumada District. Ibragim attended university in Khasavyurt.

‘Two boys and my brother [Ibragim] were going home. Police stopped them to check their documents. They had no documents, and so were being taken to a police station. On the way, the police spotted Motsayev, who was wanted. As soon as the patrol car slowed down near him, he began to fire at the patrol, hitting the neck of Ibragim’, Golos Dagestana quoted a relative as saying.

The same source in Daghestani law enforcement told OC Media that Motsayev had led the Khasavyurt Group since 2015, and had been involved in a number of crimes in Daghestan, including the attempted murder of police officers, as well as ‘extorting large sums from local entrepreneurs’.

According to the source, there was a ₽3 million ($52,000) reward for information about his whereabouts.

A counterterrorism operation regime was introduced in Khasavyurt District on 19 March encompassing more than ten settlements.

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