Three policemen were killed in Chechnya on July 20. The Associated Press on July 21 quoted an anonymous Chechen Interior Ministry official as saying that the bullet-riddled bodies of three officers who had been guarding an Interior Ministry trailer were found on a collective farm. The official said the assailants made off with the officers’ guns. Kavkazky Uzel reported that the incident took place on the outskirts of the village of Naursk.
Kommersant on July 22 identified the three slain policemen as Khizir Musaliev, Avsad Aitamirov and Salavdi Bachaev. The newspaper reported that Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov had visited the scene of the crime on July 21 and ordered local officials to find the murderers of the policemen “in the shortest possible time.” Alkhanov warned that “those heads of police departments who do not take all necessary measures to suppress such sallies, ensure the required level of law and order [and] prevent infringements on the lives of civilians and members of the law-enforcement organs will be punished right up to dismissal from their posts.” Alkhanov added that each police chief must control the “operational situation” in their area, “answers for everything happening on his territory and bears personal responsibility for each person, whether he is an ordinary resident or a member of the police.”
Kavkazky Uzel reported on July 22 that Alkhanov had promised a reward for information about the killers of the three policemen. As the website noted, the number of attacks on policemen in Chechnya has increased lately, with two or three such attacks happening per week.
On July 23, unknown attackers fired on two vehicles carrying members of an OMON special police unit from Zabaikalsky Krai in Siberia who are stationed in Chechnya, Kavkazky Uzel reported. No one was hurt in the incident. On July 22, a serviceman from a federal Defense Ministry unit was severely wounded in a bomb explosion that took place in a wooded area on the outskirts of the village of Bamut.
Meanwhile, three traffic police officers were shot to death in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, the Associated Press reported on July 18. According to the republic’s Interior Ministry, gunmen entered a restaurant where the officers were eating after work and opened fire. A bystander was also injured in the shooting and the attackers escaped with two of the officers’ handguns.