Bombings, Shootings and Abductions Continue to Plague Ingushetia

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 12

A car bomb exploded outside a bank in Nazran, Ingushetia, on March 24, injuring at least five people. According to the Associated Press, the bomb went off beneath a Mercedes parked on a central street in Nazran when a police officer used a remote control to unlock his car. The regional Investigative Committee said the officer and another policeman with him were seriously injured and that three passers-by were also hurt. AP quoted the Emergency Situations Ministry’s branch for the Southern Federal District as having stated that six people were injured in the blast. Kavkazky Uzel reported on March 24 that the bombing took place in front of the Ringkombank building in Nazran, which is located 100 meters from the city policy headquarters. According to the website, the targeted Mercedes belonged to a police officer named Akhmet Batkhiev, who approached the car along with another police officer, Aslanbek Kostoev, who was getting into the passenger side of the Mercedes when the bomb detonated and lost both his legs in the blast.

Interfax reported on March 24 that an improvised explosive device consisting of a 120mm mortar shell attached to an electronic detonator and a timing mechanism was discovered inside a suspicious parcel that had been placed in the market of the village of Ordzhonikidzovskaya. The device was defused. Another homemade explosive device, this one attached to a mobile phone, was discovered and defused in Nazran on March 23, Kavkazky Uzel reported. An explosion took place in the village of Troitkskaya on March 21. No one was hurt in the bombing, and another explosive device was discovered in the vicinity of the blast. Meanwhile, a local resident was killed and another person was wounded in a shootout that took place in the center of Nazran, RIA Novosti reported on March 23.

Itar-Tass reported on March 25 that unidentified gunmen fired on a police post located on the administrative border between North Ossetia and Ingushetia. The news agency reported that the gunfire came from the direction of the North Ossetian village of Maisky and that two North Ossetian policemen were wounded in the incident.

Kavkazky Uzel reported on March 26 that a young person was abducted in Ingushetia’s Barsukinsky municipal district. Citing “informed sources,” the website said the unnamed victim was kidnapped by members of unidentified “power structures” near the district’s local cemetery. Kavkazky Uzel also reported on March 26 that relatives of Madina Ausheva, who was killed in a special operation conducted in Nazran’s suburbs on February 28, claim her body was returned to them without its internal organs. Quoting from a press release by the Chechen National Salvation Committee, the website reported that Ausheva was pregnant at the time she died, raising doubts about the official claim that she was a female suicide bomber who had blown herself up while resisting security forces (Chechnya Weekly, February 29). According to the Chechen National Salvation Committee, the bodies of two people killed together with Ausheva, 28-year-old Ibragim Yevloev and 22-year-old Akromat Genaev, were also returned to their relatives without their internal organs.

Following the incident in which the three were killed, a Federal Security Service (FSB) source told Itar-Tass that the three had fired automatic rifles and grenade launchers at security forces who approached a house in Nazran’s Altievo municipal district and that two of the alleged militants were fatally wounded in the ensuing shootout, while a female “terrorist” killed herself by detonating a bomb (Chechnya Weekly, February 29). However, according to the Chechen National Salvation Committee, a neighbor of the three said they had not mounted any armed resistance and that security forces had simply leveled the house they were in with grenade launchers and other weapons. The committee reported that the body of Madina Ausheva’s brother, Ruslan Aushev, who was killed by security forces in June 2007 (Chechnya Weekly, July 5, 2007), was also returned to relatives with its internal organs missing.