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Russian forces kill key Al Qaeda coordinator

August 31, 2009 14:19 IST

A senior Al Qaeda operative, who was reportedly the terror group's coordinator in the Caucasus region, has been killed by the security forces in an operation in Daghestan area of South Russia, said reports on Monday.

"A foreign mercenary killed in the special operation last night has been identified. He is an Algerian national, Al Qaeda's coordinator in Daghestan, known among the militants as Doctor Muhammad," a security official was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Doctor Muhammad was one of the two militants killed in a shootout with the security forces near the town of Khasavyurt, close to the border with restive Chechnya.

Two federal security service officers were also injured in the clash. The militant was said to be a French passport holder.

In recent months, militants have attacked troops, police and other officials almost on daily basis in Daghestan and Russia's other mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. On August 17, Ingushetia was rocked by a suicide bombing at the police headquarters, which killed at least 24 police officers and injured 136.

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