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Russia Kills Suspected Militant, Claims Election-Day Attack Thwarted

The body of a suspected Islamic militant who the FSB suggested may have been plotting an attack on the day of the presidential election next month, is shown in Nizhny Novgorod on January 31.

Russian law enforcement authorities say they have killed a suspected Islamic militant who they suggested may have been plotting an attack on the day of the presidential election next month.

In a statement on February 1, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said officers killed the man when he put up armed resistance as they attempted to arrest him in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod.

The suspect was from an unnamed former Soviet republic other than Russia and was a member of the militant group Islamic State (IS), it said, without providing evidence.

It said the suspect "was prepared to carry out" a terrorist attack on March 18, the day of an election that seems certain to hand President Vladimir Putin a new six-year term.

A search turned up a powerful homemade bomb, components for more explosive devices, guns, and ammunition, it said.

The FSB frequently announces that it has foiled terrorist plots ahead of holidays and important events.

In December, the FSB said it had arrested several suspects in Moscow and St. Petersburg and thwarted separate plots for attack in the two biggest Russian cities during the New Year holidays and the presidential election campaign.

The Kremlin and U.S. President Donald Trump's administration said that U.S. intelligence services helped foil the alleged plans for attacks in St. Petersburg by tipping off Moscow about the purported plot.

After a bomb blast injured at least 10 people at a supermarket in St. Petersburg in late December, Putin said that if suspected militants posed a threat to law enforcement officers, the officers should "take no prisoners" and "liquidate the bandits on the spot."

Russian forces backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a seven-year war in the Middle Eastern country are battling opponents of Assad's government, including IS militants.

Thousands of Russians and citizens of former Soviet republics in Central Asia are believed to have fought alongside IS and other militant groups during the war in Syria.

With reporting by RIA Novosti and AP
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