The Danger of Large-scale Militant Attacks Looms in Ingushetia

Recent attacks are reminiscent of a bloody raid carried out by Shamil Basayev in 2004, as the activities of irregular militant groups continue to escalate in Ingushetia and threaten to develop into large-scale armed conflict

July 13, 2008

On the night of July 8th, Ingush militants captured a mountain village in the republic, killing three local residents, who, according to villagers, the militants accused of “betrayal of their homeland”. In Suzhensky district in the village of Ordzhonikidzevsky, unidentified individuals kidnapped a member of law enforcement. In Nesterovsky, a neighboring village, Ingush militants carried out an attack on the post of a regiment of interior ministry forces. Another attack occurred in the village of Curkhakhi in Nazranovsky district; at approximately one o’clock in the morning, an armed attack targeted the home of Bakhi Aushev, a member of the Ingushetian Federal Security Service Directorate (UFCB). The home of this special services officer was fired upon by unidentified individuals with automatic weapons and grenade launchers.

In Ingushetia, daily attacks by unknown individuals on Russian servicemen, law enforcement employees, and members of the republic’s power structure have become the norm over the past few years. Over the past week, however, authorities in the republic have been made particularly anxious by similarities to the raid which took place four years ago, on June 22, 2004. That night, militant detachments de facto captured the republic and carried out a series of bold attacks on military units and subdivisions of the Russian power structure, including the main apparatus of the republic’s federal police (MVD). About a hundred people were killed; primarily members of law enforcement, including the acting Minister of the Ingushetian Ministry of Interior Affairs, his deputy, and other highly positioned officials of the prosecutor’s office. Additionally, a large quantity of weapons were stolen. The well-known Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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