MAKHACHKALA, Russia, June 24 (Reuters) - Assassins killed a police chief in the south Russian region of Dagestan which neighbours Chechnya, where federal forces have fought rebels since 1994, an interior ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
Gunmen shot dead Magomed-Aripa Aliyev, head of police in the town of Buinaksk, as he drove through the scruffy regional capital Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea coast at around 11 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Monday.
"We’re currently searching for the killers," the spokesman said.
Buinaksk has a population of about 60,000 and lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south-west of Makhachkala in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.
Federal forces in Chechnya have largely pacified rebel activity but in neighbouring Ingushetia and Dagestan rebel attacks have increased, including in Buinaksk.
The Brussels-based think-tank, International Crisis Group, last month released a report that blamed unemployment and a lack of opportunities for driving young men in Dagestan towards a rebel movement often anchored to radical Islam. (Writing by James Kilner in Moscow, edited by Richard Meares)