A suicide bomber killed four policemen and two builders after being stopped outside a theater in Grozny, capital of Russia’s Chechnya region.
The bomber blew himself up yesterday after police barred entry to a hall where 800 people were watching a play, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said on the ministry’s Web site today. Four other police officers and another bystander were injured, the ministry said.
Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed president, Ramzan Kadyrov, said he had planned to attend the performance, but was late, RIA Novosti reported. Kadyrov is struggling to contain separatist violence even after convincing the federal government in April to lift a 1999 counterterrorism decree. Islamic separatists and federal troops have fought two wars in Chechnya since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev said his government-in- exile asked the military wing to halt attacks on Chechen police as of Aug. 1 and called on followers of Doku Umarov, the self- proclaimed Emir of the North Caucasus, to comply, Kommersant said today. Zakayev held talks last week on restoring stability in the region with Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, the chairman of Chechnya’s parliament and a representative of Kadyrov’s government, the Chechnya Peace Forum said in an e-mailed statement on July 24. The U.K. granted Zakayev asylum in 2003, the same year Kadyrov’s father was elected president of Chechnya. Kadyrov’s father was assassinated in May 2004.
RIA Novosti adds:
The suicide bomber who set off an explosive device in Chechnya’s capital on Sunday, killing six people, has been identified, a police spokesman said on Tuesday. “During the course of the investigation experts established the identity of the bomber, who set off the explosion near the concert hall. He was Rustam Mukhadiev, a resident of Argun [a town in Chechnya’s Shalinsky District] born in 1988,” the spokesman said. According to the police, Mukhadiev had been a member of armed opposition groups since 2007. “He joined the militant group headed by Muncigov, also known as ‘Shatral,'” the spokesman added. According to the police, the blast occurred 40 meters (130 feet) from the concert hall at 17:00 Moscow time (13:00 GMT) on Sunday. At the time of the attack, there was a crowd of the people on the square. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was due to attend the event in the concert hall, but he arrived late.
Four police officers were among the six people killed.
The previous terrorist bomb attack in Grozny occurred on July 7, when a bomb went off in a trash can, injuring nine people.