|A view shows the site where two bombs exploded in Makhachkala, in this undated still photograph taken from video. As many as 20 people were killed and 30 more wounded when two powerful blasts hit a police post outside the capital of Russia's violence-plagued Dagestan region, Russian media reported on Friday. (REUTERS/Bashir Aliev/NewsTeam/Handout)
A Canadian was among seven suspected militants killed Friday by Russian security forces in Dagestan.
William Plotnikov, 23, died in a gun fight with Russian police and military near the village of Utamysh, the Moscow Times reported. A police officer was also killed.
Plotnikov was born in Russia but came with his parents to Canada, where they lived in Toronto. He became a Canadian citizen in 2008.
Plotnikov was an avid boxer who practiced at the European Boxing Club in Toronto under coach Boris Gitman.
"He was an excellent boxer. I thought for sure he would be good enough for (the) Olympics," said Gitman, who cried during an emotional interview with QMI Agency.
Gitman knew Platnikov best during his later teenage years. He described the boy as handsome but believed he was frustrated at his new life in Canada.
"He wasn't comfortable here; he was looking for something and I don't think he found it here," Gitman said. 'He never talked about going back to Russia, he never talked about politics. But I saw him change while he was here; he wasn't satisfied by this Canadian life. But how his life could end like this, I have no idea.'
A spokesperson at the Russian embassy said they did not know Plotnikov or about any militant groups in Dagestan or whether his family was still in Canada.
Neither the department of foreign affairs nor the department of public safety nor CSIS could offer more information.