Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 161

One person was killed and 11 were wounded, four of them policemen, in a fight between police and a group of armed Chechens in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt on August 30. Khasavyurt, which borders Chechnya, has a large population of Chechen-Akins (one of the ethnic groups of Chechens). The incident occurred when local police arrested a Chechen-Akin suspected of raping a 12-year old girl. A crowd of around 350, said to include fighters from Chechnya, gathered outside the police station and set fire to police cars and private automobiles. There were calls to attack the police headquarters and destroy it. Shooting broke out and one Chechen was killed. By the morning of August 31, the situation had normalized. The town is now under police control. (Russian agencies, August 31)

Armed incidents have been an almost daily occurrence in Khasavyurt district since the Chechen war ended just one year ago. These include the hostage-taking raid by Salman Raduev’s fighters on the eve of Chechnya’s presidential election in January, and a July truck bombing in which ten policemen from Moscow and St. Petersburg were killed.

"The present confrontations in Khasavyurt are a provocation on the part of the Chechen authorities," Magomet Tolboev, the secretary of Dagestan’s Security Council, told the Monitor. Although Djohar-gala has made no official claim to Dagestani territory, Tolboev believes that Chechen leaders hope to unite this territory with Chechnya. This, in Tolboev’s opinion, explains why Djohar-gala has, "on various pretexts," been refusing since last October to sign a friendship and cooperation treaty between the two republics.

Still No Agreement on Russian-Chechen Oil Transit…