Attacks Reported in Ingushetia and Dagestan

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 24

A police officer was shot and seriously wounded on June 17 in the Ingushetian city of Karabulak. Itar-Tass, citing Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry, reported that Abuyazid Shovkhalov, a 29-year-old officer with the patrol-sentry service (PPS) of the republic’s Interior Ministry, was attacked while standing at a bus stop not far from his home and received multiple gunshot wounds. The shooter escaped.

On June 16, the rebel Kavkaz-Center website reported that a “mobile unit of mujahideen” in several cars had attacked a city police (GOVD) building in Nazran with grenade launchers and automatic weapons the previous evening. The website said no one was reportedly hurt or killed in the attack but that Ingushetia’s Interior Minister, Musa Medov, had ordered news about the attack to be withheld.

On June 15, unidentified gunmen fired on police personnel who were traveling by car in the city of Malgobek. None of the policemen was seriously hurt, but a local resident who happened to be at the scene was reportedly killed, Interfax reported. Several hours later, unidentified gunmen with automatic weapons fired at servicemen driving in an automobile along the Kavkaz highway in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district, the Regnum news agency reported. One of the servicemen reportedly died in the attack while another was wounded.

On June 13, two explosions took place in the center of Nazran, Ingushetia’s largest city. Three people were killed and six wounded in the blasts, which destroyed two stores sharing the same roof – a wholesale food store and a wine-vodka store. Among those killed were the owner of the food store and a saleswoman in the liquor store. quoted sources in Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry as saying the main theory was that the blasts were caused by a gas explosion, noting that explosives experts had not found evidence of an explosive device at the site of the explosions. Initially, however, a source in the Nazran police department had said the main theory was that the blasts were caused by explosive devices. The source said that one of the stores – presumably the liquor store – had earlier been targeted with leaflets demanding that it close or face “physical punishment.”

A blast in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala on June 13 killed one person. Reuters reported that a bomb estimated at 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of TNT equivalent went off near administrative buildings in the city. A jogger, believed to have inadvertently triggered the bomb, died, the news agency reported.

Itar-Tass reported on June 13 quoted a source in the Dagestani department of the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying that Saipudin Ibragimov, an accomplice of “illegal armed group” leader Askkhab Bidaev, and Bidaev’s 18-year-old wife Dzhamilya Ibragimova were killed in a police operation in the village of Bairamaul in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district. The bodies were found under the debris of a private house “flattened” in the police operation, the news agency reported. The FSB source said Bidaev was wanted for a series of grave crimes, including “attacks on police officers and preparations for terrorist acts in the town of Khasavyurt and suburbs.”