MOSCOW, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Russia's National Antiterror Committee (NAK) said security forces killed eight Islamic State militants Sunday, and six other Islamist rebels on Monday. Both incidents occurred in the Northern Caucasus region.
"According to information available to the security services, the militants killed in [Sunday's] operation had recently pledged allegiance and became members of the Islamic State (IS), an international terrorist organization," NAK said in a statement, reported Russia Today.
"All of them were complicit in a number of crimes of a terrorist nature, including the killings of law enforcement officers and the extortion of money from entrepreneurs." Sunday's incident took place in the republic of Ingushetia, while Monday's violence took place in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, another mountainous region in the North Caucasus region, according to news reports.
Adam Tagilov, accused by Russian authorities of organizing an assault last year in Grozny, the Chechen capital, which claimed over 20 militants and policemen, was among those killed in the special operations, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Jihadis from the North Caucasus region have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, making their way to fight in Syria and Iraq. More than 1,000 Russians are fighting with IS in both countries, Niklolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's security council said in June, also reported by The Wall Street Journal.
IS has has tried to assert more control in Russian-speaking countries as the group announced last month that it was launching a Russian language channel, reported The Independent.
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Vienna to discuss their shared commitment to fight Islamic State. The United States and Russia pledged last October to continue sharing intelligence to combat terrorism.