STP fears escalation of violence in North Caucasus

Dozens of dead and injured people at the end of Ramadan:

After dozens of people were killed or injured at the end of the Muslim Ramadan, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) fears an escalation of violence in North Caucasus. "During the holy month of peace and non-violence, suicide bombings, exchanges of fire and disappearances became more frequent in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya – which is a sign of threat for the civilian population," said the STP's concerned expert on questions regarding the CIS states, Sarah Reinke, in Berlin on Tuesday. The MediaPortal Caucasian Knot documented 78 dead and 40 injured in North Caucasus for July already.

In Dagestan, the news-headlines from August 17th to 21st illustrate the threatening situation: Two officers of the Interior Ministry in Makhachkala were shot – the municipal administrator of Ljachlja killed by unknown people – a checkpoint-soldier was shot and died while being brought to hospital – within three days, two suspected members of an illegal armed group got killed in Khasavyurt – shootings in a Shiite mosque in the city of Khasavyurt end with one dead and eight injured – four bodies of civilian people found in the district of Bujnaksk – an attempted assault on the Shiite mosque of Khasavyurt – a police officer shot dead in Kumtorkalinskij – a police officer killed in the city of Makhachkala – Residents of Khasavyurt kidnapped by unidentified armed men.

On August 19, eight people were killed in Malgobek during the worst attack in Ingushetia for months. A suicide bomber tore seven people to death and injured 15 more – four of them seriously. The incident took place during a funeral held for a police officer who was killed during a gunfight just the day before. The President of Ingushetia announced a three-day mourning for the whole republic. There were also people killed in the Ingush city of Nazran. Two civilians were shot dead by unidentified men in a store and a woman was injured seriously during an exchange of fire.

On August 16, there were also reports about deaths in Chechnya. Four members of the Russian special police forces (OMON) were killed during a gunfight in a village. Two policemen were injured by a terrorist attack in another district of the republic. After the attacks in Ingushetia, the security measures in Chechnya were intensified. It is to be feared that the underground movement led by the Gakaev brothers is preparing several suicide bombings.