A police commando was shot to death on the Kavkaz Federal highway in Ingushetia in the village of Barsuki, Itar-Tass reported on December 11. RIA Novosti quoted a source in Ingushetia’s law-enforcement bodies as saying that the commando, Magomed Tutaev, was fired on at point blank range by unidentified gunmen and that some 20 shell casings from a Stechkin pistol were found at the scene of the crime.
Kavkazky Uzel reported on December 6 that law-enforcement bodies in Ingushetia were continuing to search for the perpetrators of an armed attack on a madrassa student in the city of Malgobek. The student, Movlyood Abidov, a resident of the village of Voznesenovskaya and an ethnic Meskhetian Turk, was shot and severely wounded on December 4.
A bomb exploded on a passenger bus in Stavropol Krai on December 9, killing two people and injuring as many as 13 others. Agence France-Presse quoted Viktor Barnash, chief of police for the Stavropol region, as telling Interfax that the explosion occurred on a bus traveling between Pyatigorsk and Stavropol as it dropped passengers off at the bus station in Nevinnomyssk.
Kavkazky Uzel reported on December 8 that a group of Chechens on their way to Saudi Arabia were attacked by unidentified young men in North Ossetia when the four buses in which the pilgrims were traveling made a stop near the village of Stary Terek. Prague Watchdog reported that the attackers were local youth who attacked the Chechen pilgrims with baseball bats, hammers and stones. Interfax on December 8 quoted Nurdi Nukhazhiev, Chechnya’s human rights ombudsman, as saying in an official statement that a “guiding director’s hand” must have been behind the group of attackers because they themselves were incapable of organizing the attack. Nukhazhiev charged that “criminal actions which offend national and religious feelings and human dignity” are being carried out as a result of a “multi-year anti-Chechen campaign by certain media” and the absence of a “fundamental Russian national policy in the North Caucasus.”
Meanwhile, the “Kataib al-Khoul” Jamaat of North Ossetia posted a statement on the rebel Kavkaz-Center website on December 12 claiming responsibility for the shooting death in Moscow of two Ossetians allegedly involved in narcotics trafficking and gambling. The statement claimed that it was the group’s third such execution in the Russian capital (Chechnya Weekly, September 20).