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Daghestan’s Interior Ministry Doubts Reports Of Incursion Into Azerbaijan

Daghestan Interior Ministry spokesman Colonel Mark Tolchinsky was quoted on July 22 by the Russian news agency Regnum as saying his ministry has no information that would corroborate allegations that a group of Islamic militants crossed from Daghestan into Azerbaijani territory one week earlier.

Azerbaijani news agencies reported on July 16 that a group of between six and seven militants had crossed into Azerbaijan's Zakatala Raion from the neighboring Rutul district of Daghestan the previous night.

One Azerbaijani border guard was reportedly wounded in an exchange of fire with the intruders, one of whom -- purportedly a non-Russian citizen whose identify is being clarified -- was killed and a second wounded. The rest managed to escape.

Regnum on July 22 also quoted Rutul district head Davud Suleimanov as saying there is no evidence of the presence of militants there, and denying the possibility that any armed group could have used Rutul as a jumping-off point for penetrating Azerbaijan.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.