November 16, 2013 / 3:40 PM / 5 years ago

Russian police kill suspected Volgograd bus bomber in shootout

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police killed the main suspected organizer of last month’s bombing of a bus in Volgograd and several other suspected militants in Dagestan on Saturday, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, confirming earlier media reports.

The federal government body said that the husband of the suicide bomber who detonated the bus bomb was among five militants killed in a shootout after a stand-off lasting hours at a house in Makhachkala, capital of the violent North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Dmitry Sokolov had told police during the siege at the house that he had made the bomb set off in Volgograd by the woman authorities have named as Naida Asiyalova, the Committee said.

The bombing, the deadliest attack outside the North Caucasus for nearly three years, raised fears of more Islamist violence as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, near the mainly Muslim region.

Last month a police source in Dagestan told Reuters that Sokolov, originally from the Moscow suburbs, had met Asiyalova online. He disappeared from Moscow last year, and is also believed to have prepared a suicide belt used in an earlier bombing in Makhachkala in May.

Bombings and shootings are a frequent occurrence in Dagestan, at the eastern edge of the North Caucasus, where insurgents say they are fighting to create an Islamic state.

Reporting by Jason Bush; Editing by Louise Ireland and Toby Chopra

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