Shootout in the centre of Grozny, December 17, 2016. Photo: screenshot of video recorded by eyewitness, Youtube.

18 December 2016, 16:02

Attack in Grozny becomes fourth militant attack committed on New Year's Eve

The shootout of December 17 at the centre of Grozny has become at least the fourth since early 2016 and the seventh since early 2015 armed clash between law enforcers and militants in Chechnya. As a result of those seven incidents, 22 people, declared militants, were killed and two others were injured, and 21 law enforcers were wounded. These are the results of the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot". For the fourth year in a row, in December, in southern regions of Russia, militants declare themselves loud attacks and terror acts.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in the evening of December 17, after an armed clash in the centre of Grozny, the counterterrorist operation (CTO) legal regime was introduced in the city. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has reported that as a result of the armed clash, four militants were killed and two others were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Three killed militants have been already identified. The police search for two other attackers, who, according to law enforcers, sworn allegiance the "Islamic State" (IS), banned in Russia by the court and recognized as a terrorist organization.

In Southern Russia, fourth December in a row marked by militant attacks

Since 2013, every December, on the New Year's Eve, militants have made headlines with resonant attacks or terror acts in the southern regions of Russia. Meanwhile, the "Caucasian Knot" draws attention of its readers that three different groupings of militants claimed responsibility for the attacks of 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Thus, on December 30, 2015, in Derbent, militants shelled local residents in the area of Naryn-Kala Fortress. 12 people were brought to a hospital with gunshot wounds, and later, one of them died. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the "Islamic State" (IS), banned in Russia by court. According to the IS, the shelling was organized against Russian soldiers and officers.

At night of December 4, 2014, militants attacked the centre of Grozny. As a result of the attack and the retaliatory counterterrorist operation, 10 militants and 14 policemen were killed, and other 24 law enforcers were wounded. One civilian was killed. The responsibility for the attack on Grozny was then claimed by fighters led by Aliskhab Kebekov, supporters of the "Imarat Kavkaz", recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization.

On December 29 and 30, 2013, as a result of the terror acts committed on the New Year's Eve in Volgograd by militants at the railway station and in a trolley-bus, 34 people were killed and other 73 were injured. The responsibility for the terror acts was claimed by the grouping "Ansar al-Sunna".

Thus, over the past four years, two out of four New Year's Eve militant attacks were committed in Chechnya and two beyond the Chechen borders.

Since 2015, in Chechnya, militants attack law enforcers at least seven times

On December 17, 2016, in Grozny, a shootout occurred between law enforcers and militants. As a result of the armed clash, four alleged militants were killed and two others were wounded. Besides, a law enforcer was also wounded. The armed clash became at least the seventh case of an armed militant attack on law enforcers in Chechnya since early 2015. Out of those seven cases, four occurred in 2016 and three in 2015, reports the chronicle of special operations, terror acts and armed clashes in Chechnya, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Thus, on October 23, 2016, a 21-year-old resident of the Gudermes District, involved, according to the law enforcement authorities, in the armed underground, wounded a policeman and was killed.

On October 9, 2016, during a shootout in the Gudermes District, eight suspected militants were killed, and four policemen were injured.

On May 9, 2016, two armed men attacked a checkpoint in Grozny. One of them committed a suicide bombing, while the second attacker was killed by law enforcers. The Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reported on six wounded law enforcers.

On October 8, 2015, during a special operation held in Grozny, according to official information, three members of the armed underground were killed and three law enforcers were wounded.

On June 26, 2015, in Grozny, two residents of Chechnya, who opened fire on law enforcers, were killed. Two policemen were wounded.

On January 1, 2015, according to the law enforcement authorities, as a result of a special operation held in the Cossack village of Mekenskaya, Musa Zavgaev, "emir of the Nadterechny and Naur Districts," and Bashir Omarov, wanted on suspicion of committing serious crimes, were killed. Four law enforcers were wounded.

Thus, since January 1, 2015, according to the law enforcement authorities, as a result of the above seven attacks, 22 militants were killed, including 15 in 2016, and seven in 2015. In 2016, two militants were wounded. As a result of four attacks in 2016, at least 12 law enforcers were wounded, and as a result of three attacks in 2015, nine law enforcers were wounded. In total, since early 2015, 21 law enforcers were wounded in seven attacks.

While this article was in preparation for publication, it has been also reported that today, in Grozny, militants have killed one more policeman. However, the report has not been officially confirmed, and thus, the case is not included in the above data on loss of law enforcers in armed clashes with militants since early 2015.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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