Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 31

– Dagestan’s Deputy Mufti Murdered

Dagestan’s deputy mufti Kuramagomed-hajji Ramzanov and his brother were killed in the capital of Makhachkala on July 27 when the Toyota car in which they were traveling exploded, apparently the result of a bomb. The armed Islamist group operating in Dagestan, the Sharia Jamaat, claimed responsibility for the incident in a press release posted on the Kavkaz-Center website on July 29. In a separate press release posted on Kavkaz-Center on July 28, the Sharia Jamaat claimed responsibility for the July 20 abduction of Magomed Batadalov, an aide to the prosecutor of Buinaksk and the Buinaksk district. The group said that a “mujahideen group” had kidnapped Batdalov, whom it described as an enemy of Islam and Muslims, and that the Sharia Jamaat’s Sharia court would decide his fate.

– Islamic Militants in Kabardino-Balkaria Say They Killed Police Officers

The website of the Chechenpress news agency on July 26 posted a statement by a group describing itself as “the mujahideen of Kabarda and Balkaria” and claiming responsibility for the July 23 murder of Akhmat Teberdiev, head of the criminal investigation department of the police department in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrussky district. It also claimed responsibility for the July 7 murder of Zaur Khamdokhov, a captain with the anti-organized crime directorate of Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Ministry branch. Teberdiev was shot to death and Khamdokhov was killed when a bomb blew up his car. Meanwhile, Nezavisimaya gazeta on August 1 quoted Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Minister Yury Tomchak as saying that the number of adherents of radical Islam in the republic is growing and now exceeds 500 people, most of who are hiding out in the republic’s woods.

– Beslan Footage Suggests Security Forces Fired Grenades

Video footage posted anonymously and linked to the Beslan Mothers Committee website ( appears to show that Russian security forces fired grenades at Beslan’s School No. 1 on September 3, 2004, two days after militants seized more than 1,100 hostages there. That would lend credence to the accusations of some experts and a number of survivors of the hostage-seizure that the explosions, which sparked the tragedy’s bloody denouement, came from outside the building, not inside, as the Russian authorities claim. As the Associated Press noted on July 31, other video footage from September 3, 2004 that was also linked to the Beslan Mothers Committee website, shows the homemade explosive devices – bottles filled with shrapnel and ball bearings – that the hostage-takers had suspended from basketball hoops and the roof of the gymnasium where most of the hostages were held, sitting intact on a table after the incident. In another clip, men are heard talking: according to an accompanying transcript, the video is of an investigator questioning A. Galgoev, identified as a bomb-disposal expert who defused the bombs in the school’s gym, and B. Nabiev, identified as the commander of the engineering service of the 58th army. One of the men says that the holes in the walls of the gym could not have been caused by “these explosives” and that those children who were taken out of the gym did not have injuries caused by such devices. “So there was no explosion inside the building?” one man asks. “Inside the building, there was no explosion,” another answers.

– Novye Aldy Victims’ Relatives Want Justice

Relatives of the 11 victims killed during a zachistka, or security sweep, in the settlement of Novye Aldy, located in the Oktyabrsky and Zavodskoi districts of Grozny, on October 5, 2000, welcomed the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in their favor but want justice for their loved ones, Agence France-Presse reported on July 26. The court awarded the applicants jointly 143,000 euros ($196,067) for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and 14,050 euros ($19,263.90) and 4,580 ($9,394.04) pounds sterling for costs and expenses (Chechnya Weekly, July 26). “They killed the brothers and sister of my husband before my eyes,” Malika Labazanova, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told AFP in the Chechen capital Grozny. “Do you think that money can bring them back to life?” “We are not interested in money. We are worried that they have not caught those responsible. If you were there when these criminals carried out their crimes, you would understand what punishment they deserve. They weren’t people, they were monsters.” Yusup Musaev, who lost seven relatives in the same raid on Novye Aldy, told AFP: “I don’t want money, I want those guilty of killing my relatives to be investigated. Let the killers be punished officially. I dream of dealing with them myself. You can’t heal our wounds with euros if there is no fair trial.”