Two Policemen Murdered in Nazran

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 39

Two policemen were murdered on October 10 in a market in the center of Nazran, Ingushetia’s largest city. RIA Novosti, citing a source in the republic’s law-enforcement bodies, reported that a group of policemen were fired on with automatic weapons from a Mercedes after they stopped the vehicle and tried to check the documents of those inside. Because of the large crowd of people in the market, the policemen were unable to return fire and two of them were killed. The perpetrators managed to escape. According to RIA Novosti’s source, one of the slain policemen was a nephew of Nazran’s police chief, Ali Yandiev, who himself has been the target of several assassination attempts. This past August, Abu Yandiev, a police official who was also identified as a nephew of Ali Yandiev, was assassinated in a Nazran sauna by an unknown attacker (see Mairbek Vachagaev, The Ingush Jamaat: Identity and Resistance in the North Caucasus, Jamestown Foundation Occasional Paper, August 2007).

A police captain was murdered in the city of Malgobek on October 8. A source in Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry told Interfax that the incident took place at around 9:30 p.m., local time. Gunmen shot the captain from a VAZ-2110 automobile parked near his home as he was returning from work. According to Interfax, there was no “official confirmation” of the incident.

Meanwhile, reported on October 8 that three high-ranking officials in Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry have been replaced with official from other regions. According to the website, the reason for the personnel changes is that Ingushetia has become the primary “hot spot” in the North Caucasus, with more terrorist attacks taking place than in Chechnya. reported that officials from the Interior Ministry branch in Moscow and possibly St. Petersburg have replaced Ingushetia’s first deputy Interior Minister in charge of the criminal police, the deputy Interior Minister in charge of the ministry’s headquarters and the deputy Interior Minister in charge of personnel. Magomed Gutiev was also named deputy Interior Minister for public security. Gutiev was the only ethnic Ingush among the four newly appointed officials.

As noted, more than a thousand Interior Ministry Internal Troops were sent to Ingushetia from other Russian republics around two months ago. Last year, operational groups each consisting of 25 police officers from other republics and under the direct command of the Regional Operational Headquarters (ROSH) based in Khankala, Chechnya, were set up in district and city police departments in Ingushetia. “An overwhelming majority of the kidnappings in Ingushetia are carried out by employees of the special services, who systematically present special ROSH identity cards [spetspropusk],” the website reported. “Ingush police are even prohibited from examining and checking the holders of such special identity cards or their vehicles. Therefore the fear and distrust of the inhabitants [of Ingushetia] toward the police [deployed from other republics] is not surprising.”