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Bodyguard Of Caucasus Insurgent Leader Reported Killed

Caucasus Islamist leader Doku Umarov

Caucasus Islamist leader Doku Umarov

Russian officials say the bodyguard of a wanted Islamist militant insurgent has been killed by security forces.

Russian authorities said Mikhail Musikhanov was killed on July 13 along with another militant in a shoot-out in the Sunzha region of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia.

Russia's Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said in a statement that the insurgents "tried to break through a security cordon. As a result of the ensuing gunfire their resistance was crushed and the bandits were neutralized."

The NAK said Musikhanov had been part of the inner circle of Doku Umarov, leader of the outlawed Caucasus Emirate, a self-proclaimed Islamist state entity.

In May, Umarov's right-hand man Dzhamaleil Mutaliyev died in a shoot-out with security forces in Ingushetia.

The incident comes as Moscow tries to curb militancy in the North Caucasus before it hosts the Winter Olympics near the region in February.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters