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Leader of 2005 Nalchik Attack Killed in Shootout

Federal forces have killed a leading Islamist rebel blamed for a 2005 attack in which more than 100 people died, prosecutors said Thursday.

Anzor Astemirov, an associate of rebel leader Doku Umarov, was killed in a shootout with Federal Security Service commandos in Nalchik, capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic, prosecutors said in a statement.

Astemirov shot at the officers during a routine document check Wednesday and was killed in a return of fire, the statement said. 

Authorities said Astemirov led a raid by Islamic militants on police and government offices in Nalchik in October 2005. About 140 people died, including 94 militants.

Kabardino-Balkariya and other North Caucasus provinces have been rocked by violence stemming from two separatist wars in Chechnya in the past 15 years.

(Reuters, AP)

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