At least five police killed in suicide blast outside concert hall in Chechnya, Russia
At least five police officers were killed and another 12 sustained injuries in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya as they attempted to detain a suspected suicide bomber. The young man detonated an improvised explosive when police attempted to search him.
“According to the latest data, the blast killed five policemen, twelve others received wounds,” a police spokesman said. Four police officers died at the scene, while the fifth later died of wounds at a local hospital.
The incident happened ahead of a concert dedicated to City Day in Grozny, which is home to over 280,000 people, most of them Chechens. According to the Internal Affairs Ministry, police forces noticed a suspicious man outside a concert hall.
“Police officers who were manning metal detectors at the entrance of the concert hall noticed a suspicious young man. When the police officers decided to check the individual, the man blew himself up,” a local police officer told RIA Novosti news agency.
Arriving at the scene, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said the suicide bomber approached security forces and introduced himself as “a law enforcement staffer.” Police still proceeded to search him, he added.
Kadyrov promised to find and punish those responsible for the explosion. “I want to assure you that none of those who had the slightest connection to the bastard, at whose fault people were killed, will escape severe punishment,” Kadyrov said on his Instagram page on Monday.
There were no immediate reports of civilian deaths or injuries, the Ministry said. The data on the injured, however, varies. A local hospital confirmed to RIA Novosti that a total of 10 people with wounds were admitted, but none of the injuries was life-threatening.
Despite local media initially claiming the suicide bomber survived, Russia’s National Anti-Terror Committee said the man died along with the victims of the blast. Police identified him as a 19-year old local citizen, who appears to have left home six months ago.
“Apti Mudarov’s whereabouts were not known even to his relatives,” a spokesperson for Chechnya’s law enforcement bodies told RIA Novosti adding that the suspect was supposed to have joined a gang and police were searching for him intensively.
Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has ordered to posthumously award the four police officers who “have stopped a terrorist and did not let him come to a place, where a public event was to be held.”
Deadly Suicide Bombing In Chechnya
By Thomas Grove, Reuters, Oct 5, 2014
MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least five police officers and wounded 12 others on Sunday during festivities for a local holiday in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s troubled North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Russian news agencies reported.
The site of two separatist wars and a festering Islamic insurgency, Chechnya has seen a period of relative calm under the strong-arm rule of Moscow-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and suicide bombings have been a rare occurrence in recent years.
The attack took place at the entrance to a concert hall where festivities were planned to celebrate Grozny’s city day holiday, which is also Kadyrov’s birthday.
“Police officers who were manning metal detectors at the entrance of the concert hall noticed a suspicious young man. When the police officers decided to check the individual, the man blew himself up,” a local police officer told RIA news agency.
There were no reports of civilian deaths or injuries, RIA said.
Following the Chechen separatist wars in 1994-96 and 1999-2000, the insurgency spread across the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus, fueled by an explosive mixture of religion, and anger over corruption and alleged rights abuses
The attack is the first major act of violence since the death of insurgent leader Doku Umarov who was killed in a clampdown during Russia’s hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the western edge of the Caucasus Mountains.
Kadyrov, who became leader of Chechnya in 2007, has vowed to wipe out the militants but has faced criticism from human rights groups for the disappearances of those suspected of being linked to the insurgency and torture. He calls the accusations an attempt to blacken his name.
Kadyrov, who has been threatened personally by the insurgents who call themselves the Caucasus Emirate, said that the suicide bomber had arrived at the concert hall dressed like a policeman.
The attacker was a 19-year old from Grozny who disappeared from home two months ago, agencies reported police as saying. The last suicide bombing in Grozny was in 2012 and killed at least four soldiers.
In Kabardino-Balkaria, nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Chechnya, security officials also killed two militants on Sunday, state TV said.