Opposition Website: Ingush Rebels Seize Villages

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 39

Ingushetia.ru reported on October 16 that rebel fighters had seized two villages in the republic. According to the opposition website, the militants had blocked the entrances to the villages of Muzhichi and Yandare from the Rostov-Baku federal highway and had set up their own checkpoints. Yet sources in Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry called the report “disinformation,” while the republic’s prosecutor, Yury Turygin, told Interfax that neither he nor the Interior Ministry nor any other republican law-enforcement bodies had received any information about “bandits” having seized villages.

At the same time, Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry confirmed on October 16 that rebel gunmen had wounded a resident of Muzhichi when they opened fire on his car after he refused to heed their demands to stop. Newsru.com also reported that a man was kidnapped in Yandare on October 15. The website quoted Ingush Interior Ministry sources as saying that eight to ten people wearing masks and camouflage uniforms had tried to stop cars on the outskirts of Muzhichi but that police and Internal Troops who later arrived at the scene found no one there. Ingushetia.org reported that rebels manning makeshift checkpoints had been stopping cars to check documents as part of a search for law-enforcement personnel.

Meanwhile, unidentified assailants fired on Ingush Interior Ministry special forces in the city of Nazran on October 16, wounding one of them, Newsru.com reported. Also on October 16, a bomb blew up a car belonging to a police inspector in Nazran. No one was hurt in the blast.

On October 15, the deputy head of the Sunzha district administration, Khadzhibikar Dhankhotov, was shot to death by unidentified gunmen who escaped in a car, Interfax reported. On October 11, two Interior Ministry servicemen were wounded in an explosion that took place near a water tower in the village of Yuzhnyi in Ingushetia’s Malgobek district. On October 10, two Interior Ministry troops were injured when a roadside bomb went off near an Ural truck carrying them in the city of Malgobek. According to Interfax, the two servicemen were hospitalized but not critically injured.