Violence in Ingushetia Unabated

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 37

The failed suicide bombing targeting Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov on September 30 was just one of several recent attacks in the republic. On October 2, the acting head of Sunzhensky criminal police was shot in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya when unidentified gunmen fired on his car. According to, the police officer – who was identified as Tamerlan Mamilov in some media reports and Timur Korigov in others – was taken in serious condition to the hospital, where he later died from his wounds.

Around the same time, unidentified attackers fired on a police post in Nazran and on a VAZ-2109 automobile carrying Interior Ministry Internal Troops in the city, Interfax reported. Two servicemen were wounded in the attack on the police post, while two servicemen were killed and another wounded in the attack on the VAZ-2109.

On October 1, gunmen fired at a police post located on the Kavkaz federal highway near the village of Ekazhevo. No one was hurt in that attack, RIA Novosti reported. On September 30, the same day as the attack on Ingush Interior Ministry Musa Medov, gunmen fired at a Mercedes that was being driven in the city of Malgobek by Bagaudin Merzhoev, an officer with the district criminal investigation department. Merzhoev was wounded in the attack and hospitalized.

On September 27, unknown persons burned down two food kiosks in Ingushetia’s Malgobek district, Kavkazky Uzel reported. No one was hurt in the incidents, which took place in the city of Malgobek and the village of Sagopshi. The Novyi Region news agency reported that according to one theory, the fires were started by people unhappy with the fact that the kiosks sold alcoholic beverages. Law-enforcement sources noted that Ramadan began on September 1 and that three shops and a café were burned down in Nazran on September 6.

On September 26, unidentified gunmen fired at a private home in Nazran belonging to the dean of Ingushetia’s Law and Economics Institute, Sulambek Khalukhaev, who was shot and seriously wounded outside his home in Nazran on September 10 (North Caucasus Weekly, September 11).

Meanwhile, Kavkazky Uzel on September 26 quoted several experts on the North Caucasus as saying they were certain that the abduction of Magomed Khamkhoev, who was kidnapped in Moscow on September 14 and, according to his own testimony, held in the basement of a cottage and beaten and tortured for several days (North Caucasus, September 19), was the work of Russia’s special services.

Aslanbek Apaev, a North Caucasus expert with the Moscow Helsinki Group, said that what went on in the cottage where Khamkhoev was held in Moscow’s Serebryany Bor region was reminiscent of a death camp. “People were sent there for liquidation,” he said. Khamkhoev claimed that he was shown the body of a man during his incarceration. Ten Ingush have reportedly disappeared without a trace in Moscow since the beginning of September. Asked which country’s special services were capable of such actions, Apaev answered: “Russia.”

Magomed Mutsolgov, head of Ingushetia’s Mashr human rights group, agreed that Russia’s special service were probably behind Khamkhoev’s abduction. “Naturally, there are decent people in the special services, but they do not include the ones who were operating in Serebryany Bor,” he said. Asked about Khamkhoev’s claim that his captors told him his treatment was revenge for the September 2004 Beslan hostage-taking, Mutsolgov said it was possible either that Ossetians were among Khamkhoev’s kidnappers or that such statements “were aimed at fomenting inter-ethic discord.”