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Russian President Visits Violence-Hit Daghestan

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) is welcomed to Makhachkala.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) is welcomed to Makhachkala.
MAKHACHKALA, Daghestan -- On a visit to Daghestan following a recent surge in violence there, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev descibed the situation in the North Caucasus republic as "complex," RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Medvedev told a meeting of Russia's Security Council in the capital, Makhachkala, that more than 300 terrorist acts have taken place in Daghestan so far this year.

He added that 75 security officers and 48 locals have been killed in fighting in the republic in the past five months.

Medvedev called last week's assassination of Interior Minister Adilgirey Magomedtagirov "a challenge to the state" and urged investigators to find those who organized the killing.

He added that he has awarded Magomedtagirov with the title "Hero of Russia" posthumously.

Medvedev was accompanied on the trip by Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Aleksandr Bortnikov.

Medvedev was expected to meet with the republic's President Mukhu Aliyev and the presidential envoy in the south of Russia, Vladimir Ustinov.

The trip comes on the heals of recent shoot-outs between security forces and insurgents in the republic that led to several deaths.

Interior Minister Magomedtagirov was shot dead by a sniper as he entered a restaurant on June 5.