The New York Times reports:
Two police officers were killed today in the Chechen capital of Grozny as they pursued a rebel, who was also killed, the Chechen Interior Ministry said. The authorities identified the rebel as an associate of Doku Umarov, the movement’s president and military leader.
The shootout followed an outbreak of violence on Thursday in the mountains of Dagestan, which lies east of Chechnya. Two officers were killed in an ambush, and two other attacks west of Chechnya, in Ingushetia, left a Russian soldier dead. A total of at least 16 police officers and soldiers were wounded, the authorities said. The attacks in Dagestan were the latest in a series this summer in Chechnya and its neighboring republics. They underscored the degree to which the insurgency there, weakened since 2004, has managed to survive and conduct operations against Russia’s numerically superior police and military forces.
They also raise questions about Russia’s official assertions that region, a few hundred miles east of Sochi, where Russia is to stage the Winter Olympics in 2014, is secure and under control.
Ingushetia has continued to suffer almost daily ambushes and small bombings, even though Russia sent about 2,500 reinforcements there late last month. Some attacks have been tactically unimpressive, including drive-by shootings at checkpoints and bunkers. Others have involved coordinated ambushes and even a rocket-propelled grenade directed at the home of Ingushetia’s president, Murat M. Zyazikov, a former K.G.B. officer and an ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Chechen separatists have also claimed that a sniper has begun to terrorize the police in Grozny, the Chechen capital, firing on officers in the city’s center and eluding capture.
In a sign of the degree to which Islamic-influenced insurgencies borrow from one another, a separatist Web site said the Chechen sniper had taken the name Chuba, a derivative of Juba, the name used in insurgent videos in Iraq for a sniper guerrilla credited with shooting American troops. American military and intelligence officers have questioned whether Juba actually exists, or is a composite character invented for propaganda purposes and used with graphic images of shootings to sow fear. Similarly, some of the separatist claims in the Caucasus appear to be exaggerated, as they have been for years, including a claim on a separatist Web site that as many as 2,000 new volunteers had taken up arms. Russian officials say the entire insurgency is a fraction of that size.
Whatever the actual number, the latest attacks suggest that the guerrillas, though scattered, remain capable of disruptive actions.The Guardian reports:
A shootout in Chechnya's capital left two policemen and a rebel dead, the Chechen Interior Ministry said Friday. Word of the shooting came a day after authorities said ambushes of Russian forces in two provinces neighboring Chechnya had left three troops dead. The Chechen Interior Ministry said officers stopped a suspicious man on a street in Grozny on Thursday night to check his documents and that the man opened fire with a pistol and then fled to a nearby apartment. Police surrounded the apartment building and in the subsequent shooting, two officers and the suspect were killed, the ministry said. It later identified the man as a high-placed comrade of Doku Umarov, the leader of Chechnya's separatist rebels.
The shooting came on the same day gunmen ambushed security forces in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, killing three people and wounding 17, officials said Thursday. A convoy of elite police forces came under fire near the entrance to a highway tunnel in Dagestan on Thursday, leaving two dead, said Mark Tolchinsky, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in the province east of war-scarred Chechnya. Twelve people were hospitalized with injuries, but five were released later Thursday, said Kazanfar Kurbanov, chief doctor at a local hospital.
In Ingushetia, west of Chechnya, one serviceman was killed and five were wounded late Wednesday when gunmen attacked their armored personnel carrier with grenades and automatic weapons fire, the regional Interior Ministry said.