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North Caucasus Insurgency Leader Claims Stavropol Killings

An Islamic insurgency leader in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria has reportedly claimed responsibility for six killings in the southern Stavropol Krai region last month.

In a video statement placed on the Internet on February 9, Tengiz Guketlov said the deaths had nothing to do with the Islamic insurgency's previous warning that it would disrupt the Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the western edge of the Caucasus mountains.

Guketlov said the killings were in retaliation for the deaths of 35 local Muslims by security forces in multiple operations.

None of the 35, he said, was an insurgency fighter.

Last month, six corpses were discovered in or near four cars in two separate districts outside the city of Stavropol.

Two cars were booby-trapped.

With additional reporting by