first published on April 2, 2016 by Will
Both the Russian government and the Islamic State’s Caucasus Province confirmed that the ISIS affiliate has carried out two attacks on Russian forces in Dagestan. However, the claimed kill count and the identity of the targets struck differs between the two entities.
The Islamic State’s Caucasus Province claimed to have detonated two explosive devices on two Russian Army vehicles in the area of Kaspiysk in eastern Dagestan, supposedly killing 10 Russian soldiers on the 29th and 30th of March, according to The Long War Journal.
Russian authorities disputed the claims, saying that in each of the two blasts it was police officers, not soldiers who were targeted. The Russian officials also said that a single police officer was killed in each blast for a total of two deaths.
The Russian Islamic State group has seen a recent growth spurt due, in part, to Russian military successes against the local al Qaeda affiliate known as Islamic Caucasus Emirate (ICE). Several jihadists defected to the Islamic State after Russian forces killed multiple al Qaeda leaders in 2014 and 2015.
The following video is from a Russian special forces operation in June of 2015 in Dagestan, in which a firefight broke out between the Spetsnaz and Islamic State militants. The militants were forced to retreat to bunkers dug into a mountain side, at which point the Russian troops detonated explosives over top of the entrenched fighting positions, collapsing the tunnels and crushing the jihadists to death.