Attacks Reported in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 16

Gunmen in Chechnya opened fire on a Federal Security Service (FSB) Mi-8 helicopter on March 23, RIA Novosti quoted a law-enforcement source as saying. The source told the news agency that the aircraft was damaged and had to make an emergency landing, but that no casualties had been reported. He said that an investigation and search for the gunmen was underway. The Chechen Interior Ministry, however, said it had received no information about the incident. On April 21, a soldier was injured in a roadside bomb explosion that targeted a military convoy in Grozny, RIA Novosti reported on April 22. “An explosion went off on the Petropavlovkoye highway in Grozny on Monday [April 21], when a military convoy of eight trucks was moving by,” the news agency quoted a local Interior Ministry official as saying. “One serviceman was wounded.” The official said the soldier was being treated in the hospital.

RIA Novosti reported on April 21 that a serviceman had been killed and another wounded in a shootout with “members of a criminal group” in southern Chechnya the previous day. “A police reconnaissance group clashed with a gang of about 10 people in a forest at around 3:30 p.m. Moscow time on Sunday [April 20],” a regional security official told the news agency. “A deputy commander was killed and a serviceman sustained a severe injury.” After the “gang members” evaded arrest, they were pursued to the Shali district where another shootout occurred 45 minutes later, RIA Novosti reported. A dug-out shelter used by the gang was discovered and destroyed in a nearby forest. In a separate incident, a group of unknown offenders set fire to the administration building in Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district late on April 20. RIA Novosti reported on April 19 that unknown gunmen fired on a group of servicemen in the Achkhoi-Martan district village of Bamut but that no one was hurt in the attack.

Russian news agencies reported on April 23 that two Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) employees were severely wounded when their car was fired on by unknown gunmen near the village of Surkhahi in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. Both the wounded employees were taken to hospital and were said to be in grave condition. The attackers fled the scene, and their car was found abandoned in a nearby forest. Itar-Tass, citing Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry, reported on April 22 that unidentified attackers fired automatic rifles and grenade launchers at a police post on the Kavkaz federal highway in Nazran’s Nasyr-Kortovsky municipal district. The report said the attack had caused casualties but did not provide details. A small explosive device went off at the front gate of the home of head of the Nazran city administration, Beili Ozdaev, on April 18, but no one was hurt in the incident.

Interfax reported on April 19 that unidentified gunmen fired on a group of Interior Ministry Internal Troops along the administrative border between Ingushetia and North Ossetia, wounding one serviceman.

In Dagestan, a police officer was injured on April 22 after an unknown assailant threw a hand grenade at a traffic police post in Makhachkala, the republic’s capital. A column of vehicles belonging to a mobile federal Interior Ministry unit came under fire from automatic weapons in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district on April 21, Interfax reported. One vehicle was damaged but no one injured in the attack. A police source told the news agency that the attackers fired from abandoned garden plots.