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Asia Crisis

Russia says Moscow bombing organiser killed

* Russia says militant trained bombers

* Parents deny daughter married insurgent

* Gunbattle kills two people in Chechnya

(Updates with report 3 killed in Dagestan's capital)

MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Russian security forces killed a major organiser of suicide bombings in a raid on Saturday in the North Caucasus province of Dagestan, an official at Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.

The official said the body of Magomed-Ali Vagabov, who Russian authorities say orchestrated twin suicide attacks in Moscow's metro in March that killed 40 people, was found in the wreckage of a house stormed by security forces.

The mostly Muslim North Caucasus, on Russia's southern flank, is plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars that devastated one of its republics, Chechnya, in the 1990s.

The anti-terrorism official said Vagabov was a mastermind of the March 29 morning rush-hour bombings in Moscow. He was also active in recruiting young people to join militants and in training suicide bombers, he said.

Russian media have reported that Vagabov was married to Maryam Sharipova, a 28-year-old Dagestani woman authorities said was one of the suicide bombers in the metro attacks -- the deadliest in Moscow in six years. Sharipova's parents told Reuters in May that she was never married.

There has been an increase in violence linked to the insurgency in the past two years in Chechnya and neighbouring Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Five suspected militants were killed in fighting on Saturday in the Dagestani village of Gunib, authorities said.

In Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, a group of gunmen shot dead a policeman and a civilian in separate attacks before opening fire at a cafe, killing one customer and wounding another, the Interfax news agency reported, citing police.

In the Chechen capital Grozny, authorities said a police officer was killed and six other policemen wounded in a gunbattle on Saturday that also killed a militant, according to Interfax. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Steve Gutterman; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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