Attacks Reported in Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 21

Unidentified gunmen fired on a car in which soldiers were traveling in the village of Verkhnie Achaluki in Ingushetia’s Malgobeksky district on May 29, killing two servicemen on the spot and wounding two others. One of the wounded servicemen later died in the hospital, bringing the total number of servicemen killed in the attack to three. The press service of the Investigative Committee for Ingushetia told Interfax that the servicemen were traveling through Ingushetia on the way to their base in Mozdok, North Ossetia, at the time of the attack. Russian Interior Ministry troops were involved in a shootout with militants in Ingushetia’s Sunzhensky district on May 24. A local police source told RIA Novosti that no troops were injured in the clash and that there was no information about fatalities among the “illegal armed group” members involved in the clash. “Troops clashed with a group of nine gunmen, about one kilometer from the town of Gandalbos, and then about three kilometers from the town another clash occurred with another group of militants numbering about 30,” the source told the news agency. The source said that the militants were fired on with artillery as they retreated. A spokesman for the Ingush Interior Ministry said that the ministry had no information confirming that those armed encounters had taken place. The same spokesman said, however, that two Interior Ministry troops were wounded on May 23 when an unidentified explosive device went off in the Sunzhensky district. “They were both hospitalized and the doctors say their lives are not in danger,” the spokesman said.

RIA Novosti reported on May 23 that a group of unidentified assailants opened fire on a border guard garrison in downtown Nazran, Ingushetia’s largest city. “The attack [involving automatic weapons and grenade launchers] occurred at 3:00 a.m. Moscow time [23:00 GMT],” an Ingush law-enforcement source told the news agency. “No casualties have been reported.” According to RIA Novosti, a spokesman for the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) directorate later confirmed the attack, saying there were no casualties among the garrison personnel. In an item on the same incident, Itar-Tass reported that the attackers fired with small arms and grenade launchers and that three or four grenades were fired at the building, causing a fire that was extinguished by border guards. The building sustained minor damage but nobody was injured in the attack, Itar-Tass reported.

In Dagestan, a senior police officer was killed on May 25. RIA Novosti, citing a police source, reported that Colonel Akhmedudin Absaludinov, deputy head of the investigation and search division of the republican Interior Ministry’s department for combating economic crimes, was shot dead in the center of Makhachkala by an unidentified gunman. The news agency reported that Absaludinov’s murder was connected to his professional activities, noting that, according to the Dagestani prosecutor’s office, he had led the fight against corruption in the republic for a long time.

An explosive device planted under a car belonging to a top official from Dagestan’s Finance Ministry went off early on May 26 in Makhachkala, the republic’s capital. According to a police source, the explosion seriously damaged the car, but no one was injured in the attack.

On May 24, a member of the anti-organized crime directorate (UBOP) of Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Ministry was shot to death by two unidentified gunmen. Kavkazky Uzel reported on May 25 that the murder occurred when the attackers, driving in a VAZ-2110 car without license plates, fired automatic weapons at a Mazda belonging to the UBOP officer, Azamat Nagoev, at a car wash located at the entrance to the village of Dugulubgei, killing Nagoev and a guard at the car wash, Boris Balkizov. On May 19, unidentified attackers threw an explosive device into the courtyard of a home in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital. The ensuing blast left a 32-year-old man, who was not named but identified as a former UBOP employee with shrapnel wounds in the back, arm, leg and torso, as well as facial burns. On May 3, unknown attackers hurled a grenade and fired automatic weapons at a security guard patrol in Nalchik, wounding two security guards.

In Chechnya, a “gang leader” wanted for involvement in a number of serious crimes, including the bombing attack in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district on May 4 that killed five police officers (Chechnya Weekly, May 8), killed himself on May 24 by detonating a grenade in order to avoid being captured, Itar-Tass reported. Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said that Abu Isupkhadzhiev, whom he identified as the so-called emir of the Grozny district village of Pervomaiskaya, was spotted in the village of Valerik in the Achkhoi-Martan district. “During his detention, he offered armed resistance and then blew himself up with a grenade,” Alkhanov said. Isupkhadzhiev was a native of the Grozny district village of Pobedinskoye, Itar-Tass reported. According to RIA Novosti, he had been a member of the “Central Front” of separatist fighters led by Rustam Basaev, who was killed in August 2007.