Sunday, September 27, 2009

Four Die in Shoot-Out as Russia Faces Jihadist Threat

Four Die in Shoot-Out as Russia Faces Jihadist Threat

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Three insurgents and one policeman were killed in a gun battle in the southern Russian region of Dagestan, the latest in a wave of attacks rocking the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region.

The shoot-out took place after police stopped a car for a document check in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala last night, state television reported today. The number of violent deaths almost tripled this summer as the fight between the authorities and Islamic militants in the North Caucasus also cost the lives of civilian bystanders and human rights activists.

The explosion of violence is the result of poverty, corruption and government neglect, according to both officials and their critics. Those factors combined with a militant brand of Islam that has replaced communism as an ideology means Prime Minister Vladimir Putin faces the worst instability in the region since he sent troops to subdue a rebellion in Chechnya a decade ago.

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