Kadyrov Again Declares Victory as Rebel Attacks Continue

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 194

Scene of the bombing in Ingushetia

Several terrorist attacks have been carried out in Ingushetia and Chechnya this week. Today (October 22), a bomb exploded as Isa Korigov, the head of the criminal police in the Ingush city of Malgobek, was getting into his car with his wife at their home in the city of Malgobek. The blast injured Korigov and his wife, and killed their driver, Maksharip Dzeitov. Korigov’s injuries were described as moderate, while those of his wife were described as severe. According to preliminary findings, the blast had the force of three kilograms of TNT. The attack was not the first on Korigov; in July 2008, unidentified gunmen fired a grenade launcher at his house. No one was hurt in that attack, but when the police arrived at the scene of that incident, the attackers detonated a bomb that wounded Korigov and three other policemen, all of whom were hospitalized (www.newsru.com, October 22).

Yesterday (October 21), a roadside bomb was detonated as a police vehicle was traveling to the scene of an attack near the village of Yandare in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. A source in Ingushetia’s law enforcement bodies told Interfax that according to preliminary information, an undetermined number of people were killed and wounded in the blast. However, a source in Ingushetia’s interior ministry later said that no one was killed in the blast. The bombing took place after unidentified attackers fired grenade launchers and automatic weapons at a traffic police post near Yandare, wounding two traffic police officers and two OMON police commandos. The attackers had apparently prepared a roadside bomb knowing that police reinforcements would be called to the scene of the attack on the traffic police post (www.newsru.com, October 21).

On October 20, unknown attackers fired on a car being driven by a member of the Nazran police department, Timur Tungoev. According to the press service of Ingushetia’s interior ministry, the police officer was not hurt in the attack and fired back at the attackers (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, October 20). That same day, police found an arms cache near an agricultural mill in the village of Barsuki in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. The cache included seven grenades for a grenade launcher, two hand grenades and a small amount of ammunition (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, October 20).

On October 19, bomb disposal experts defused a car bomb near a bus stop in the city of Nazran near the building housing the main staff of Ingushetia’s interior ministry. After clearing the area, they detonated the car bomb in a controlled explosion that reportedly could be heard outside the city. According to investigators, the force of the explosion was the equivalent of five to ten kilograms of TNT (www.newsru.com, October 19).

Also on October 19, a local resident of Nazran’s Plievo village was shot to death in his car by unknown attackers. The victim was identified only by his last name, Azhigov (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, October 19).

Meanwhile, four policemen and a passerby were injured in neighboring Chechnya yesterday (October 21) when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the Oktyabrsky district of the capital Grozny. Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov told Interfax that the incident took place when police tried to detain the bomber, whom he identified as Zaurbek Khashumov, who was born in 1992 and was on the list of those in the republic who had supposedly disappeared without a trace. According to the Kavkazsky Uzel website, the incident marked the ninth suicide bombing in Chechnya since the federal authorities announced an end to anti-terrorist operations in the republic last April (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, October 21).

Also on October 21, one policeman was killed and two wounded during a counter-insurgency operation in Chechnya’s Urus-Martan district, in which two militants were also killed. The operation was launched in the village of Goiti after police blockaded a group of rebels in several homes. That same day, Chechen Interior Minister Alkhanov said that a 20-year-old militant, Aslanbek Khachukaev, had been killed by security forces on the outskirts of the village of Yermolovka in Chechnya’s Grozny agricultural district. According to Alkhanov, Khachukaev was involved in the murder last month of the head of the administration of the village of Stary Achkhoi, Ali Atramov, and his son (www.sknews.ru, October 21).

Meanwhile, two Russian servicemen were wounded when gunmen fired grenade launchers and assault rifles at two vehicles outside the village of Khatuni in Chechnya’s southern Vedeno district. A Chechen law enforcement source said that the attackers fired on a Ural truck and an armored tractor ferrying Russian servicemen to cut down trees. The two injured soldiers were contract servicemen –a sergeant and a private (ITAR-TASS, October 21).

On October 19 the Deputy Prosecutor-General Ivan Sydoruk told the Legal and Court Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the Russian parliament’s upper chamber, that Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia are “the biggest problems in southern Russia” and that the rate of attacks on law enforcement personnel in the North Caucasus is growing steadily. He said that 192 people, including policemen, were killed, 484 were wounded and 425 extremist crimes were perpetrated in the three republics in the first nine months of the year. Sydoruk added that militants are propagandizing the “extremely aggressive” religious tendency of “Wahhabism” and are “ideologically preparing” suicide bombers (Interfax, October 19).

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov declared on October 17 that the fight against the republic’s rebels is approaching a victorious end, telling top law enforcement officials that it is necessary to start dealing with “small problems,” including collecting intelligence on the militants in order to “act preventively” to “foil their plans at their planning stage.” Kadyrov also said that the search for Chechen rebel leader Dokka Umarov, the head of the self-declared Caucasus Emirate, and two other rebel leaders, Muslim and Khusein Gakaev, must continue. “They must be destroyed,” he said. “They themselves have signed their [death] sentences. We have studied each square meter of the woods; we are looking for them everywhere. And I am convinced that they have not got long left to run in the forest,” Kadyrov claimed (www.newsru.com, October 17).