Gunmen in Chechnya Attack FSB Officers and Army Commandos
Itar-Tass reported on August 3 that unidentified assailants in Chechnya fired automatic weapons at a Niva car carrying agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB), wounding one of them. The incident took place on the Kavkaz federal highway near the village of Dzhalka when gunmen driving a foreign car shot at the Niva, slightly wounding an FSB officer who was driving the Niva. Itar-Tass reported that a resident of the town of Bamut in Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district was wounded on August 9 when gunmen fired automatic weapons and grenade launchers at several cars carrying federal Defense Ministry commandos. None of the servicemen was hurt.
Former Rebel Health Minister May Return to Chechnya
Umar Khambiev, the former health minister of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) government headed by Aslan Maskhadov, has said that he may move back to Chechnya from exile in Italy. As Kommersant reported on August 12, Umar Khambiev made his announcement following a meeting with his brother, Magomed Khambiev, the former ChRI defense minister who is now a Chechen parliamentarian and who recently embarked on a trip to Western Europe on behalf of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government to convince top separatists living abroad to return to Chechnya (North Caucasus Weekly, August 7). Umar Khambiev told Kommersant that he has been very surprised by reports about the improvements that have putatively taken place in Chechnya but does not fully trust information disseminated by officials of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s government and thus plans to visit Chechnya to see things for himself before making a decision to return for good.