MAKHACHKALA, Russia - The Associated Press
People gather before the funeral of Said Atsayev, a leading Sufi Muslim cleric, in the village of Chirkey in the Republic of Dagestan, August 28, 2012. REUTERS Photo
Russian police say they have identified the female suicide bomber who killed an influential Muslim leader in the volatile province of Dagestan.
Said Afandi was a leader of a Sufi Muslim brotherhood whose followers include thousands of officials, clerics and businessmen. The 85-year-old Afandi was killed Tuesday along with six other people in the village of Chirkei by a bomber disguised as a pilgrim who visited his house.
The mystical Muslim orders of Sufis, popular in Dagestan and neighboring provinces of Russia’s multiethnic Caucasus region, are opposed to radical and militant Islamist groups that mushroomed there after the Soviet collapse.
Police in Dagestan said Wednesday that the bomber was Aminat Kurbanova, a 30-year-old resident of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala. The Interfax news agency claimed she was married to an Islamist militant.