Car bomb blast kills Russian official in Grozny

Click to follow
The Independent Online

One of Russia's most senior civilian officials in Chechnya was killed in a bomb explosion that had all the hallmarks of a rebel assassination.

One of Russia's most senior civilian officials in Chechnya was killed in a bomb explosion that had all the hallmarks of a rebel assassination.

The attack, in the Chechen capital, Grozny, shows that three months after proindependence fighters were flushed out by a massive bombardment that reduced the city to ruins, Russian control there is still tenuous.

Sergei Zveryev, the deputy to Moscow's civilian administrator in Chechnya, was killed on Tuesday evening when two radio-controlled bombs exploded, ripping apart the car he was travelling in.

A Russian government spokesman said the intended target was probably Supyan Makhchayev, the mayor of Grozny, who was in the car with Mr Zveryev at the time of the attack. He was injured and his assistant killed in the explosion.

The attack belies Russia's claims that it has all but crushed rebel resistance in Chechnya. The militants have been forced back into their strongholds in the southern mountains but isolated groups of fighters still harry federal units in territory where Russia says it established full control months ago.

Three police officers were killed in an ambush in Grozny last weekend, while a number of Chechens co-operating with the Russian authorities have also come under attack. Last month the son of Mufti Akhmad Alidkhadzhi Kadyrov, a leading pro-Moscow Muslim cleric, was injured when aremote-controlled bomb destroyed his car.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International accused Moscow ofcensorship after Russian customs officials seized a report detailing alleged human rights abuses by Russian security forces in Chechnya. The confiscation of the report at Sheremetyevo international airport, Moscow, set "a dangerous precedent which brings to mind old Soviet practices", Amnesty said in a statement.

Comments