20 August 2012, 08:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 13-19

Suicidal terror act in Ingushetia; murder of believers in a mosque in Dagestan; protests on the Day of Quds in Azerbaijan; forty days after tragedy in Krymsk; continued investigation of Mirzaev's case; spread of ASF in Krasnodar Territory, Volgograd and Rostov Regions, – look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of August 13-19, 2012, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Ingushetia: suicide bombing claims several lives

On August 19, in Malgobek, at the household, where funeral ceremony took place of Ilez Korigov, a district policeman of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the Malgobek District, who was killed on the previous day at shelling, an explosion of an unknown explosive device was triggered by a suicide bomber. As a result, eight persons including the bomber were killed and 15 more wounded.

The explosion was committed by a suicide bomber. He entered the yard of the private household, when other policemen arrived there, as if to express his condolences for the death of his colleague, and triggered an explosive device which was fixed on his belt. The power of the bomb was 10 kg of TNT (trotyl) equivalent; and it was stuffed with additional striking elements. The suicide bomber was preliminarily identified as Khamzat Aldiev, a 34-year-old resident of the Sunzha District of Ingushetia, who had been earlier sought as a member of illegal armed formations (IAFs).

Dagestan: unidentified attackers try to commit terror act in Khasavyurt mosque

On August 18, two unidentified masked men entered the building of the Shiite mosque in Khasavyurt and opened fire at parishioners. Eight persons were wounded; one of them, Emin Djafarov, 18, has died. Also, a suspicious object resembling a bomb was found in the mosque.

The object was left near the building of the mosque by the attackers who escaped from the scene. As it turned out, the bag contained a 50-litre gas cylinder filled with explosives. The improvised explosive device (IED) was neutralized and destroyed on-site by FSB specialists; its power was about 40 kilos of TNT equivalent. Nobody was hurt at neutralization.

It is noteworthy that August 19 is the first of the three-day-long holiday Uraza-Bairam (Eid ul-Fitr is the Turkic name, which in Arabic means "fast breaking holiday") – the end of the sacred month of Ramadan. In honour of the holiday people lay tables, receive guests and visit their relatives and friends.

Azerbaijan: Activists of Islamic Party mark Day of Quds by actions and rally

On August 17 in Baku, activists of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (IPA) and a group of believers, who support them, held two protest actions – in front of the Embassy of Israel and in the Alley of Fallen Heroes. These actions were timed to the Day of Quds (Jerusalem), which is marked every year by Muslims as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians on the last Friday of Ramadan. Both actions were not coordinated with the authorities; and at the Embassy of Israel some of them were detained.

On the same day in the village of Nardaran, a rally was held, also dedicated to the Day of Quds, which condemned the policy of the official policy of Tel Aviv and burned down the flags of Israel and Armenia. Also, the protesters criticized the Azerbaijani authorities for their cooperation with Israel.

Krasnodar Territory: forty days after Krymsk tragedy

August 15 marked forty days after the tragedy in the city of Krymsk, Krasnodar Territory, where the strongest flood killed plenty of people. On that day, all the Orthodox churches of the Krasnodar Territory held mourning events. In Moscow, at the building of the Permanent Mission of the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory at the Government of Russia, about 40 persons held an action commemorating the victims of the flood. The activists said that the mourning events had no political motives; however, they noted that the tragedy occurred not only because of sudden high water, but also because of "carelessness and service negligence" of state officials.

On August 14, Alexander Vasiliev, the acting head of the Krymsk District, was hospitalized directly from his workplace in pre-infarction condition. On August 15, Anatoly Razumeev, who had earlier headed the Slavisnky District, Krasnodar Territory, and worked in the office engaged in restoration of Krymsk together with heads of other districts of the territory, was appointed in his place.

Moscow: court on Mirzaev's case continues investigation

It was expected that on August 14 the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow would sentence the athlete from Dagestan Rasul Mirzaev, after whose punch a Muscovite Ivan Agafonov had died. However, on that day, the court resumed the investigation for summoning and questioning the expert Sergey Leonov, who doubted the results of the examination, which failed to establish a causal relationship between the athlete's punch and the death of Agafonov.

Leonov was questioned on August 16 and explained that "Mirzaev's punch was not heavy; and no confirmations of a heavy punch, in particular, a haematoma and a jaw fracture, had been documented." The representatives of the victim's family insisted on contradictions in the results of examination and doubted Leonov's competence; therefore Judge Andrei Fedin decided that the case should be supplemented by an examination carried out at the FBC at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation; the Judge has approved a list of 10 questions that the experts should answer. The next session was scheduled for September 17.

ASF continues spreading in Southern Russia

Last week, outbreaks of the African swine fever (ASF) were registered in three regions of Southern Russia – at the pig farm of a private entrepreneur in the Tselinsky District, Rostov Region; in a private household in the village of Zakharov, Chernyshkovsky District, Volgograd Region; and in the Yeisk District of Krasnodar territory at the farm "Kanev Bacon" in the village of Kopanskaya.

Starting from late July, the Krasnodar Territory has already revealed 15 outbreaks of the virus in nine districts of the territory. The authorities have introduced restrictions on swine husbandry in connection with a two-month quarantine and are already developing a programme of branch recovery, planning to start, after the quarantine, ten large highly protected complexes for 100,000 pig heads each.

In the Volgograd Region, where due to ASF outbreaks the regional-level state of emergency was introduced in six districts and two cities – Volgograd and Volzhsky, to prevent the spread of virus, back on July 19 Governor Sergey Bozhenov signed a decree banning any trade in pork and transportation of pigs. However, entrepreneurs of Volzhsky claim that local authorities try – in the wake of anti-ASF campaign – to close city marketplaces, without any feasibility studies, forecasts and explanations; they ask the authorities to look into this situation.

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