23 August 2010, 19:29
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events on August 16-22
Thirty persons suffered in terror act in the resort city of Pyatigorsk, Stavropol Territory; terrorist-suicide bomber blows himself up in North-Ossetian-Ingush border, kills a militiaman and wounds three more persons; armed underground of Northern Caucasus loses several of its notable leaders, – look these and other news items in the review of the main events in the Caucasus on August 16-22, 2010, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Terror act committed in a resort city of Stavropol Territory
On August 17, at 4:15 p.m. Moscow time, in the resort city of Pyatigorsk, Stavropol Territory, a broad-scale terror act was committed: a VAZ-model car, parked in immediate proximity to a cafe and dwelling houses, was blown up. The power of an explosive device made 30-40 kilos in trotyl equivalent. About 30 persons were injured.
As of Sunday, August 22, 18 persons remained in hospitals after the Pyatigorsk explosion. Compensations at a rate of 50,000 roubles were allotted to those who received grave or medium health damage; those slightly damaged will receive 15,000 roubles each. Compensations are already paid out.
On August 19, the hospital of Pyatigorsk, where most of the victims had been placed, was visited by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Rashid Nurgaliev, Russian Interior Minister, has stated that law enforcement bodies possess operative data that will help to solve the terror act committed in Pyatigorsk. Inspectors have established the main suspect in the explosion case – Alexander Kim, 42, a native of Chechnya.
Suicide bomber blows himself up in Ingush-North-Ossetian border
On the day of terror act in Pyatigorsk – August 17 – in the militia check point in the border of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, a suicide bomber triggered his explosive device, after militiamen asked him to present his documents. As a result of the explosion, a militiaman was lost, and three inspectors of the road-patrol service were heavily wounded.
Now, the investigation is trying to identify the casualty-suicide bomber. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of North Ossetia has disseminated his identikit, made on the basis of his head, which remained practically undamaged by the explosion.
Armed underground loses its notable leaders
In the course of a special operation conducted on August 21 in Gunib village in Dagestan, Magomedali Vagabov, a militants' leader, was liquidated; power agents considered him to be the organizer of the March terror acts in Moscow metro. Under the versions of special agencies, the explosion at Lubyanka metro station was committed by Mariam Sharipova, who was Magomedali Vagabov's wife.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan, Vagabov was the leader of the Gubden grouping of Dagestan militants, which was about 40 fighters strong. In the system of "Imarat Kavkaz", proclaimed by Dokku Umarov in October 2007, Vagabov was known as Amir Seifullah and took the post of Kadee (Supreme Judge) of the "Imarat", Vali of Vilayat Dagestan and Amir of the Dagestan Front.
The information about Vagabov's murder was officially confirmed by the National Antiterrorist Committee. In Vagabov's house power agents found secret documents of the armed underground, including plans of diversions, membership lists and location of hideouts.
On that very day – August 21 – Khamzat Shemilev, who was in federal search, was liquidated in Grozny; the law enforcement bodies of Chechnya consider him to be the organizer of a series of terror acts. Under operative data, in the hierarchy of militants, Shemilev took the post of Emir of Grozny.
In the special operation aimed to liquidate Shemilev а militia major was lost; and six more militiamen were wounded and hospitalized.
One day earlier, on August 20, Rustam Munkiev was killed in Dagestan; according to power agents, he was the leader of the Khasavyurt underground and terrorist grouping.
Destructive hurricanes replace fires in Southern Caucasus
At night on August 21, a fierce hurricane fell down on Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia. The wind was storming for about an hour; no victims from among the population have been reported; however, the city infrastructure was seriously damaged. The Ochamchira District of Abkhazia also suffered from the hurricane.
On that very day, in the Georgian city of Poti, the hurricane damaged about 30 dwelling houses and fell trees.
Hurricanes came to replace unprecedented heat, which this summer caused plenty of natural fires in many regions, including the Caucasus.
Last week, fires in Georgia and Abkhazia began calming down. The Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia has declared that all the country's forest fires have been extinguished.
The area of the forest fire in the Bzyp Gorge of Abkhazia, which once reached almost 25 hectares, reduced sharply after the rain at night of August 16.