Ingush Presidential Bodyguards Reportedly Involved in Shootout

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 10 Issue: 17

Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 29 that unidentified attackers the previous evening fired an anti-tank grenade launcher at a group of servicemen who were guarding a train loaded with military equipment in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. No one was hurt in the incident.

On the evening of April 28, a shootout took place in Nazran’s Nasyr-Kort district: according to some reports, the gun battle was between policemen and members of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s bodyguard detail. According to one report, three people were killed in the shootout—two policemen and one of the presidential bodyguards—and another presidential bodyguard was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. According to another report, however, one policeman and two bodyguards were killed in the shootout. The Ingush president’s press service said the shootout was not an attempt on the life of Yevkurov, who was not travelling with the bodyguards at the time of the attack, but was simply a case of mistaken identity. However, according to other reports, the shootout began when a policeman manning a checkpoint fired at the presidential bodyguards during a dispute.

Still, details of the incident—including who exactly was involved—remain sketchy and contradictory. Interfax reported on April 29 that the incident took place at the intersection of a road connecting Nazran and Magas and the Kavkaz federal highway, and quoted investigators as saying that the shootout followed a quarrel between interior ministry officers and “unidentified civilians.” According to Interfax, a policeman identified as Beslan Khachubarov and a local resident—identified simply as “Kodzoev”—were killed in the shootout, while another policeman, identified as Musa Korigov, was wounded.

For its part, Kavkazky Uzel on April 29 quoted an unnamed law-enforcement source as saying the shootout was the result of an ongoing dispute between members of the republic’s presidential bodyguards and a group of unidentified civilians.

Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 28 that Bashir Tsechoev, a 35-year-old resident of one of Nazran’s municipal districts, was shot in the head when seven or eight people wearing masks and camouflage uniforms burst into his home. The attackers escaped in two cars, and Tsechoev died later in the hospital.

On April 27, unidentified gunmen fired on the home of judo master Isa Tseloev in Nazran. No one was hurt in the attack. That same day, bomb disposal experts in Ingushetia’s Nazran district successfully defused a bomb that had been placed under a car belonging to Magomed Albogachiev, an officer with the patrol-sentry service of Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry.

Meanwhile, Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 29 that internally displaced people from Chechnya who are presently living in Ingushetia had been warned that they should leave the republic and return to Chechnya before May 1. The website quoted Aslambek Apaev, a North Caucasus expert with the Moscow Helsinki Group who is also chairman of the Committee for Protecting the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, as saying that pressure was being put on the displaced Chechens to return home and that the Mekhstroi temporary residence facility, located in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district, had already been without electricity for two days. According to Apaev, Ingush authorities have warned the Chechens living in temporary residences that they will be evicted by police if they have not left by May 1.