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Russia Says Prominent 'Islamist' Killed In North Caucasus

Russian officials say a ringleader of Islamist militants in the North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria has been killed in a special operation.

Russia's National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said the man killed by security forces in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, Nalchik, on November 10, was identified as Robert Zankishiyev, aka Abdullah, who "had vowed loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq" earlier this year.

Russia's North Caucasus region is beset by violence linked to an Islamist insurgency rooted in two post-Soviet separatist wars in Chechnya as well as organized crime, political disputes, and clan rivalries.

Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika said in Russia's Black Sea port city of Sochi on November 10 that citizens from some 100 countries -- including Russia and former Soviet republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia -- are fighting along IS militants in Syria and Iraq.

Based on reporting by TASS, RIA Novosti, and Interfax