Last weekend, a member of the group of Chechen militants which clashed with security forces on 11 January in the republic’s capital, Grozny, was detained. Imran Dasayev, a 29-year-old native of the town of Shali managed to hide in a nearby forest during a battle in the vicinity of the village of Geldagen. The search operation lasted for several days. Dasayev was found in Grozny, near a shopping mall. According to official sources, he resisted arrest, throwing a grenade at the security forces, who managed to take him alive.
The authorities believe that Dasayev was the leader of a secret group of militants who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. According to an unnamed Shali-based source, he managed and coordinated the group from Syria.
A local TV channel broadcasted a video of Dasayev being interrogated by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov. He accused Dasayev of the murder of a Chechen police officer six months ago.
After Dasayev’s arrest, a special operation was conducted in the town of Shali, during which three other people were arrested: 25-year-old I Usmanov, 21-year-old A Ebishev, and 28-year-old S Patiyev.
At the same time, two Chechens were detained in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, as they were trying to leave the republic. They are also accused of being members of the same militant group.
In the days following the clashes in Kurchaloy region, more than 20 people have been arrested on charges of involvement in a criminal group or on suspicion of having links with such. Given that the operation has spread to neighbouring Shali region, the number of detainees has risen dramatically. The authorities claim that a tank regiment on the outskirts of Shali and the headquarters of the Russian military forces in Khankala were militants’ targets.