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Russia kills suspected mastermind of Moscow Metro disaster

Russia says its security forces have killed Magomedali Vagabov, a top militant thought to have been behind the attacks on the Moscow Metro, which killed 40 people in March.

security forces guarding a Moscow Metro station

40 people were killed at two Metro stations in Moscow on March 29

The Islamist militant suspected of being the mastermind behind two suicide attacks on the Moscow subway in March has been killed during a clash with police in the Caucasus region of Dagestan, according to Russia's national anti-terror committee.

Magomedali Vagabov, whom Russia describes as the number-two figure after Doku Umarov in the Islamist insurgency that is plaguing the Russian Northern Caucasus, was killed in the city of Gunib in the mountains of Dagestan, along with four other militants.

"Vagabov was the organizer of the suicide bombings on the Moscow Metro, was actively involved in recruiting youth for the underground and organized the training for the suicide bombers," the committee said in a statement.

String of attacks

On March 29, 40 people were killed and hundreds injured when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate subway stations in Moscow.

Vagabov is believed to have been married to one of the bombers, according to Russian media.

Russia says Vagabov had been planning a whole host of attacks against security forces and railway infrastructure.

Russia had targeted Vagabov in previous operations, but had been unable to track him down. The Islamist insurgence in the North Caucasus follows the two wars Russia fought against rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s.

Leader Umarov's aim is to establish Islamic rule across the Caucasus.

Author: Nicole Goebel (Reuters/AFP)
Editor: Kyle James

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