Insurgency-related violence was reported across the North Caucasus this past week. In Dagestan, an explosion hit a food store in the city of Kizilyurt in the early hours of February 17, injuring a security guard, who was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds to the legs. When police arrived at the scene, a second blast took place not far from the store. No one was hurt in the second explosion. On February 2, a bomb went off in a café in Kizilyurt. While no one was wounded in that attack, an explosion in a food store located in a private home that same day wounded three people (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 17).
The latest incident in Kizilyurt followed twin suicide bombings in the village of Gubden in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district on February 14 that killed three people and wounded 26 (EDM, February 16). That same day, a suspected rebel was killed during a special operation in the village of Sulak on the outskirts of the city of Kizilyurt. Authorities identified the slain militant as Zakir Agavov, whom they described as an active member of the “Khasavyurt sabotage-terrorist group” who had been involved in attacks on law enforcement personnel, including an ambush of a police unit in Khasavyurt on January 9. On February 13, police in the Khasavyurt district killed a local resident when he allegedly opened fire on them after they stopped his car for an inspection. The incident took place on the Khasvyurt-Grebenskaya road near the village of Adzhimazhagatyurt. The slain man was identified as Asadullah Umashov, a resident of the city of Khasavyurt (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 14).
On February 11, authorities in the Kizilyurt district discovered the body of a 29-year-old man whom they claimed died when a bomb in his possession accidently detonated. The blast took place near a cemetery on the outskirts of the village of Sultan-Yangiyurt. Local law enforcement sources claimed the man was a known “Wahhabi” and supporter of Dagestani “illegal armed formations.” That same day, bomb disposal experts from the Dagestani branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) defused an explosive device near a mosque in the republic’s capital Makhachkala. The magnetic bomb was attached to the bottom of a car parked near the mosque. The car belonged to a 52-year-old female resident of the city (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 12).
On February 15, five suspected militants were killed in a shootout with security forces along the administrative border of Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Stavropol Krai. The battle took place in a wooded area near the village of Belomechetskaya, which is located in Stavropol Krai’s Kochubeyevsky district. One member of Stavropol Krai’s OMON special task police unit was reportedly killed and four others wounded in the incident (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 15).
In Ingushetia on February 13, unidentified attackers in the city of Nazran shot up a car in which a resident of the Nazran district village of Yandare, Akhmedkhan Kostoev, was driving. Kostoev was killed. On February 12, police in Nazran came under fire when they tried to stop a car. Two men inside the car were killed in a shootout. Authorities later said the two slain men, identified as Adam Shadyzhev and Magomed Tsurov, were suspected of involvement in the January 31 murder of the head of administration of Nazran’s central municipal district, Alikhan Tsoroev (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 13, 15).
In Chechnya, a suspected rebel was killed on February 11 during a special operation in the republic’s Shatoi district. The incident took place near the village of Kharsenoi. The slain suspected militant was described as a 27-year-old resident of Chechnya’s capital Grozny (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 11).
The Kavkazsky Uzel website reported on February 16 that during the week of February 7-13, at least twelve people were killed and twelve wounded in insurgency-related violence in the North Caucasus. Among the 12 killed, seven were alleged members of the insurgency, four were law-enforcement personnel and one was a civilian in Ingushetia who was shot by unknown attackers. At least 10 law enforcement officers and two civilians were wounded. There were five bomb blasts and nine shootouts during the week of February 7-13, while authorities said two terrorist attacks were averted during that same period. Three of the bomb blasts occurred in Dagestan, while two took place in Chechnya (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 16).
Meanwhile, Kavkazsky Uzel reported on February 16 that the deputy head of Chechnya’s government, Magomed Selimkhanov, had issued a document ordering officials of the Chechen government and the republic’s districts and cities to wear clothes that correspond to the norms of “official and Vainakh ethics.” The document, dated January 25, 2011, indicted that men must wear suits with ties on all days except Fridays, when they should wear “traditional Muslim forms of dress.” According to the document, women must wear “appropriate head covering, dresses or skirts below the knee, sleeves [that are at least] three-quarters the length of the arm.” The document notes that the need for a standardized dress code for republican government workers was first voiced by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov at a government meeting last December 16 (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 16).
Earlier this month, Chechnya’s mufti, Sultan Mirzaev, called on women in the republic to dress more “modestly” and only show their face and hands. “Women must understand our request,” he told the Reuters news agency. “We are not forcing anyone, but we are calling on women to wear traditional Islamic dress, where only the hands and face are visible” (Reuters, February 2).