A 12-year-old boy and a woman were killed and at least 11 other people wounded in Grozny on August 15 when a powerful car bomb detonated just feet from the entrance of Hollywood, a popular restaurant located near a heavily fortified compound of government buildings, the Associated Press reported.
A day earlier, the military commandant of the Urus-Martan district, Colonel Aleksandr Kayak, and four other officers were killed in the village of Roshin-Chu. Interfax reported on August 14 that the five officers were killed when militants detonated a bomb as Kayak and his men headed to the home of Roshin-Chu administration chief Shamkhan Beksultanov, which had been under attack. The explosion wounded another two servicemen. According to Interfax, Beksultanov’s home was burned down and rebels tried to kidnap his son, who managed to escape. The village chief himself was unhurt. Interior Minister Rashid Murgaliev reported to President Vladimir Putin during an August 15 cabinet meeting that security forces had managed to split up the rebel “gang” responsible for the Roshin-Chu attack. In remarks carried by Rossia state television, Putin responded: “We have to provide assistance to all the casualties and to the families of our men who were killed, including in the restoration of their homes. If you need government assistance, draw up the appropriate appeal addressed to the prime minister.”
Meanwhile, Interfax reported on August 12 that unidentified gunmen abducted Natasha
Khumadova, a sister of Chechen rebel field commander and vice-president Doku Umarov, from her house in the town of Urus-Martan. Umarov told RFE/RL in May that his wife and six-month-old child, 70-year-old father and 45-year-old brother had been kidnapped by “bandits from the so-called ‘oil regiment'” led by a close relative of Ramzan Kadyrov named Adam Delimkhanov (see Chechnya Weekly, May 11). Newsru.com on August 12 said that the abduction of Umarov’s sister might have been a case of officially sanctioned kidnapping of the relatives of rebel leaders, which Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov openly advocated in November 2005. The website quoted Dmitri Grushkin of Memorial as saying that human rights activists view this practice as “one of the most dangerous tendencies in Chechnya.” Interfax also reported on August 12 that two men had been abducted in the village of Paraboch and Grozny’s Leninsky district during the previous 24 hours.
Interfax reported on August 13 that four members of the Achkoi-Martan police department and three local residents had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping of a policeman and a civilian. The seven suspects offered armed resistance but were captured without any casualties on either side. Kavkazky Uzel reported on August 13 that three members of the Groznensky district police department, two of them officers, had been arrested the previous day for actively assisting the rebels.