27 April 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 18-24

Railway in Dagestan became a target - five explosive devices could be triggered there; nationalists in Moscow demand from the authorities to stop "feeding the Caucasus"; anthrax was diagnosed in one of Kuban city hospitals, - look these and other events in the review of the week of April 18-24, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Dagestan: five bombs in one day

Last weekend, five self-made bombs, two of which caused powerful explosions, were planted on the railway in Dagestan. On April 23, at 6:30 a.m. Moscow time, the on duty unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan received a message that at 2232nd km of the North-Caucasian Railway, in the section Kizilyurt-Temirgoe, a pressure-triggered self-made explosive device blew up under the first platform of the armoured train. It was a five-litre plastic container stuffed with ammonium nitrate. Its power made about 5 kg of TNT (trotyl) equivalent.

At 11:37 a.m. Moscow time at the distance of 8-10 meters from the place of the first explosion another similar self-made bomb was detected, which blew up in the course of neutralization. It power was approximately the same - 5 kg of TNT equivalent. A crater of 140 cm in diameter and 50 cm deep was formed by the explosion. The railway track was slightly damaged: one rail was deformed.

At 11:54 a.m. Moscow time, a few meters away from the second explosion, when experts with dogs examined the territory, another self-made device in the form of a booby trap went off. A crater of the explosion had diameter of 20 cm, and depth of 20 cm. The bomb comprised a 1.5-litre plastic bottle filled with ammonium nitrate and striking elements in the form of metal balls from bearings, a 9-volt battery, and a medical syringe filled with acetone tri-peroxide. Its power was about 1.5 kg of TNT equivalent.

At 1:29 p.m. Moscow time, one more bomb, similar to the previous one was detected. It was neutralized by law enforcers with the help of a hydrodynamic destroyer.

The fifth bomb, made on the basis of a cell phone, was neutralized by sappers of the FSB of Dagestan. According to the press service of the republic's FSB, the booby trap was linked with the design of a cell phone and could be triggered by switching the phone on. Sappers took it away for examination and neutralized it in their laboratory.

The total power of all five self-made explosive device planted on the railway track of the section Kizilyurt-Temirgoe was estimated by explosion experts as 13 kg of TNT equivalent. The traffic of passenger and freight trains in this section, interrupted by bombs and explosions, was restored around 4:00 p.m. Moscow time on the same day.

Krasnodar Territory: anthrax passed to humans

On April 21, in the Krasnodar Territory, two women-workers of the catering staff of the city hospital in Armavir were diagnosed anthrax, which is a dangerous disease, and hospitalized. Their condition is assessed as of moderate gravity.

The check has established that the cause of the disease was the infected meat, brought to the catering department of a local private company named "Kovcheg", which had won the tender on food supply to hospitals. In their turn, the "Kovcheg" received this meat from the company named "Telets", which buys food from private households. The meat was confiscated. It turned out that it was supplied to the hospital without veterinary certificates. The activities of the companies "Kovcheg" and "Telets" are suspended.

The Russian Sanitary Service believes unlikely any further spread of anthrax in the Krasnodar Territory after the above hospitalization of two cases of this disease in Armavir.

Moscow: action against Northern Caucasus

On April 23, activists of the movement "Russian Civil Union" held a protest action in central Moscow against the state budgetary policy for the republics of Northern Caucasus.

The rally was held on Chistye Prudy near the monument to Griboyedov and ended with laying flowers to the place of death of Yuri Volkov. According to organizers, the protesters spoke in favour of revision of the budgetary policy for the North-Caucasian republics and for the fiscal equity for Russian regions.

In their opinion, financial flows "should be redirected towards development of Russian regions, as in many of them poverty and ruin are reigning; while at the same time tough control over all major budget flows in Northern Caucasus should be ensured.

The rally lasted for less than an hour and passed without incidents. On the eve of the action, the Public Chamber criticized the Mayoralty's decision to allow a rally under the slogan "Stop feeding the Caucasus!" The Council of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation issued a statement condemning the Moscow authorities for granting a sanction to hold the rally.

Commemoration Day of Armenian genocide

On April 24, residents of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and members of the Armenian Diaspora in many countries traditionally remembered the victims of the Armenian genocide. This year, for the first time in the passed 96 years, on April 24 the Commemoration Day of the Armenian genocide coincided with another important feast for Armenians - the Ester.

A traditional torchlight procession dedicated to the 96th anniversary of the events of 1915 was held on Saturday, April 23, in the capitals of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. On that very day in Moscow, in Krasnopresnenskaya Zastava Square, a sanctioned rally dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1923 was held. The action was initiated and carried out by the public organizations "Russian-Armenian Commonwealth" and "Union of Armenians of Russia". The participants of the rally "Armenian genocide was a crime against humanity" noted the importance of recognition by the international community of the Armenian genocide and urged the Turkish authorities "to repent of their crime, for without repentance there is no forgiveness."

On April 20, the Big Hall of the Central House of Writers in Moscow hosted a memorial party for the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915. The event dedicated to the 96th anniversary of the tragic events in Turkey was organized by the "Russian-Armenian Commonwealth" and the Embassy of Armenia in Russia.

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