Ingush Rebels Target Police as Opposition Speeds Up Protest Preparations

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 28

Akhmed Murzabekov, a former chief of police of Karabulak, Ingushetia, was killed on July 14., citing the opposition website, reported that Murzabekov was killed in the Plievo municipal district of Nazran, the republic’s largest city, when unidentified gunmen fired on a Toyota Land Cruiser 100 in which he was traveling. Interfax reported that the attack took place at a railroad crossing between Karbulak and Nazran’s Plievo municipal district. “Unidentified men opened fire on Akhmed Murazbekov with an automatic weapon and disappeared from the scene,” the news agency quoted an Ingush police official as saying. According to, Murzabekov had been the target of several previous assassination attempts.

On July 14, unidentified attackers shot and killed a member of Ingushetia’s OMON special police unit who was driving in central Nazran, Interfax reported. The incident took place near Nazran’s Makhaba market when gunmen opened fire at the car, a VAZ-2110, at a railroad crossing on Moskovskaya Ulitsa (Street), wounding the OMON officer, who died later in the hospital. He was identified as Akhmet Isaev, a junior police lieutenant. reported that immediately following the shooting, police chased the attackers’ car, cornering it and killing one of the attackers in an exchange of gunfire. The other attacker was reportedly wounded in the shootout, but nonetheless managed to escape. The slain gunman was identified as Ali Tsuroev.

On July 11, a policeman was shot and seriously wounded near his home in Nazran by unknown gunmen driving a VAZ-2112 automobile, Interfax reported. The victim was identified as Magomed Batyzhev, an officer with the operational-research unit of the federal Interior Ministry’s department for the Southern Federal District. He died in the hospital the following day. Also on July 11, three policemen in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya were wounded when gunmen fired grenade launchers and automatic weapons at their UAZ vehicle (North Caucasus Weekly, July 11).

Ingushetia’s political opposition, meanwhile, has begun preparations for a mass protest demanding that the republic’s president, Murat Zyazikov, be removed and replaced by Ingushetia’s former president, Ruslan Aushev, reported on July 16. The opposition website quoted the head of the protest’s organizing committee, Magomed Khazbiev, as saying that an appeal to bring back Aushev would soon be forwarded to President Dmitry Medvedev along with the signatures of 80,000 of Ingushetia’s inhabitants demanding Aushev’s return (North Caucasus Weekly, July 11).

“In connection with the fact that the situation in the republic is worsening with each day, that people are dying and we have already started to be accused of being passive and ostensibly having already found a ‘common language’ with Zyazikov’s corrupt regime, a decision has been made to hasten preparations for the national [protest] rally,” Khazbiev told “I think that this rally will draw in the entire republic. People are tired of waiting for changes for the better.” Another opposition leader, Maksharip Aushev, said the republic-wide protest rally will be held in strict conformity with the law (see Mairbek Vatchagaev’s piece below).