Seven killed in Chechnya suicide attacks
Seven people, mainly police officers, were killed and 18 injured in two suicide bomb blasts in the Chechen capital Grozny on Tuesday, Chechen officials said.world Updated: Sep 01, 2011 08:02 IST
Seven people, mainly police officers, were killed and 18 injured in two suicide bomb blasts in the Chechen capital Grozny on Tuesday, Chechen officials said.
Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said "five police officers, an official of the emergency situations ministry and a civilian," were killed in the twin attacks, the Russian Interfax news agency reported.
The 18 injured were taken to hospital, he added.
The attacks came on the day that Muslims were celebrating Uraza Bairam (Eid al-Fitr), the feast marking the end of the Ramadan holy month.
The attackers "blackened the festival. That proves that the fight against them must be firm and merciless. So we will do it," Kadyrov said.
A police official in the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia, cited by the Ria Novosti agency, said the explosions were both suicide attacks.
The first went off as police were attempting to arrest a suspect on a road in Grozny to check his papers. Two officers were killed on the spot.
The second blast occurred quickly afterwards at the same place, decimating police and bystanders who had flocked to the scene, the official was reported as saying.
The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the North Caucasus since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, waging a war in 1994-1996 against separatist rebels in Chechnya.
After a second war in Chechnya in 1999, the rebellion's inspiration moved towards Islam with the aim of imposing an Islamic state in the region.
Although the war ended in 2000, rebels have waged an increasingly deadly insurgency, with the unrest spreading into other areas of the North Caucasus.
In October the Chechen parliament was attacked by a small group of rebels who killed three people before being killed or blowing themselves up.
And in August last year the rebels carried out a large-scale attack on Kadyrov's home village.
Islamist rebels also claimed a double suicide attack in March 2010 on the Moscow metro that killed 40 people.