Eight militants were captured in a special operation in the city of Malgobek in Ingushetia on September 21, during which five policemen were wounded, Newsru.com reported. Security forces blockaded the militants in a private home, but were fired on by accomplices of the rebels. “The policemen who carried out the special operation to neutralize the bandits who were blockaded in the house were shot at by unknown persons who fired a grenade launcher from a distance of 200 meters,” an Interior Ministry source told Itar-Tass. The shooters managed to escape.
The eight militants who were captured are believed to have participated in the June 2004 rebel attacks on Ingush law-enforcement installations, organized by the late Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev, as well as recent attacks on Cossacks in Ingushetia, Newsru.com reported. The militants were caught with a large stockpile of weapons, radio equipment, TNT and homemade explosive devices of the type used in attacks in Ingushetia, including the August 2005 bombing that severely wounded Ingushetia’s Prime Minister, Ibragim Malsagov.
According to the website, police in Malgobek had earlier captured a militant involved in kidnappings for ransom on behalf of the group headed by a militant named Taziev – an apparent reference to Ali Taziev, the Basaev associate who reportedly took part in the June 2004 attacks in Ingushetia, the assassination of Deputy Ingush Interior Minister Dzhabrail Kostoev in May of this year and, according to some reports, the September 2004 Beslan school seizure (Chechnya Weekly, June 15). Meanwhile, security forces discovered and defused a large homemade explosive device in a forest belt three kilometers from the settlement of Ali-Yurt in Ingushetia’s Nazran district, Newsru.com reported on September 21.
The Ingushetiya.ru website reported on September 20 that a resident of Nazran had been detained and tortured by members of the North Ossetian FSB, apparently in connection with the bombing of a Russian armored personnel carrier near the Maisky settlement in the disputed Prigorodny district of North Ossetia on September 6, which killed four federal Interior Ministry troops and wounded four others. Responsibility for that attack was claimed by “Kataib al Khoul,” the Ossetian jamaat that has also claimed responsibility for the September 11 crash of an Mi-8 Russian military helicopter, in which 12 senior officers and three crew members lost their lives (Chechnya Weekly, September 15).
Ingushetiya.ru website reported that the Nazran resident, identified only as Ozdoev, was grabbed in the center of the city on September 18 by men in camouflage uniforms, handcuffed and thrown into a car with a sack over his head. According to the website, Ozdoev was then driven to Vladikavkaz in neighboring North Ossetia and was beaten and insulted along the way by his captors, who spoke at times in Ossetian. In Vladikavkaz, he was taken to a location where two residents of Ingushetia were already being held; according to the website, the two Ingush detainees had been beaten so badly that they could not walk, and one of them was too weak even to lift his head. According to Ozdoev, the two detainees were beaten again in his presence and then dragged off. One of Ozdoev’s captors identified himself as a member of the North Ossetian branch of the FSB and demanded that Ozdoev admit he was a militant. Ozdoev, however, insisted that was an ordinary civilian and had never committed any crimes. After that, three men in camouflage uniforms and clubs entered the room and beat him for ten minutes.
According to Ingushetiya.ru, Ozdoev regained consciousness as he was being driven back to Nazran at night, and was thrown out of the car near a pond. He has since been hospitalized.