“Magas” Accused of Last Year’s Bus Bombings in North Caucasus
The federal Investigative Committee announced on July 17 that investigators have concluded that two bus bombings in the North Caucasus last year were the work of a group of militants headed by Ali Taziev, aka Magas, the Ingush rebel field commander who was a close associate of the late Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev. Itar-Tass quoted Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin as saying that a decision was made on June 4 to name Taziev as the organizer of the bombing of a bus in Nevinnomyssk, Stavropol Krai, last December (Chechnya Weekly, December 13, 2007), and the bombing of a bus near the Bratsk police checkpoint at the internal border between North Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria last November (Chechnya Weekly, November 29, 2007). Those bombings killed eight people and wounded 30.
North Caucasus Hit by African Swine Fever
In response to an epidemic of African swine fever in several districts of North Ossetia, authorities in Kabardino-Balkaria have banned the importation of pork and other pork-derived meat products, Kavkazky Uzel reported on July 17. Farmers in North Ossetia called on the republic’s authorities to help them fight the epidemic after 116 pigs died of African swine fever the republic’s Prigorodny and Alagirsky districts. The deputy head of North Ossetia’s administration, Stanislav Baskaev, called on the federal authorities for help in fighting the epidemic and said it would be necessary to consider compensating farmers, who have to slaughter pigs, Itar-Tass reported on July 15. “There is no vaccine or any other treatment against African swine fever,” Baskaev said. “You have to cull pigs, there is no other way out.” According to Itar-Tass, 150,000 pigs face slaughter.