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article imageRussia says killed IS member plotting election attack

By AFP     Feb 1, 2018 in World

Russia's FSB security agency said Thursday it had killed an Islamic State jihadist in the provincial city of Nizhny Novgorod as he was plotting an attack during next month's presidential polls.

The FSB said the man "was ready to carry out a sabotage and terrorist attack on the day of presidential elections" on March 18 when Vladimir Putin is expected to win a fourth Kremlin term.

The man resisted arrest and was "neutralised," the FSB said in a statement, while state television showed footage of the man's dead body lying in what appears to be a garage scattered with hub caps and boxes.

Security forces said they found a powerful homemade explosive device as well as firearms and ammunition during the raid in the large industrial city around 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of Moscow.

The agency said it had information the man was a citizen of one of the countries neighbouring Russia, without giving further details.

Another jihadist from Islamic State (IS) was killed by police in the same city in October 2016, the extremist group said.

In that incident, police shot dead two armed men in a car in an operation in which two police officers were injured. IS said they were attacking a military base, but claimed only one of the pair was a member.

IS has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Russia after Moscow angered jihadists with its military intervention in Syria on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.

Most recently the group said it was responsible for a bomb attack in a supermarket in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg in December that injured 18 people.

The bombing came after the FSB said it had arrested seven IS members who were planning attacks in the city, prompting Putin to thank US President Donald Trump for help from the CIA.

Earlier in the year, the FSB said it had uncovered IS cells in Moscow and the surrounding region as well as on the far eastern island of Sakhalin, an oil and gas hub, and in the volatile North Caucasus.

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