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Islamist Leader Killed In Daghestan Operation --> Aftermath of a bombing in July 2005 blamed on the Shariat militant group (file photo) (epa) April 10, 2006 -- A local police official in Russia's Southern Federal District says the leader of an Islamist militant group was killed today in a special operation in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala.

Makhach Rasulov was reportedly killed in a three-hour gun battle when police launched a pre-dawn raid on a suspected rebel hideout.

The firefight also left two police officers dead and a third seriously wounded.

Rasulov was a leading figure in the Shariat militant group, which is held responsible for a string of attacks in the region, including a bombing in July 2005 that resulted in the death of 10 federal soldiers.

Russian media had reported that Rasulov had been killed six months ago.

(Reuters, ITAR-TASS,

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