The dead included a number of police officers, including the town's police chief. According to the Russian Interior Ministry, one of the suicide attackers drove a car bomb in the direction of the town center. When traffic police attempted to halt the vehicle, the bomb was detonated. The explosion took place near a day-care center and a police station. The second blast occurred after a bomber dressed as a police officer joined the crowd of investigators, rescue workers and onlookers and then detonated the explosives.Terrorist attacks are not unknown in the Caucasus and neither are ferocious reprisals by the Russian troops. Normally they are not reported in the Russian media, let alone the Western one but coming as they did 48 hours after the Moscow attacks, these explosions are seen as sinister harbingers of a wider campaign.
There is now a general assumption that the attacks are revenge ones for the military operation in Ingushetiya that I mentioned in the previous posting on the subect.
Doku Umarov, a Chechnyan separatist who has proclaimed himself to be a fighter in the global jihad and a firm supporter of Sharia law in Chechnya has claimed responsibility for the Moscow and Kizlyar explosions though, obviously, not personally. It is one of the major tragedies of that twenty-year old conflict (apart from the tens of thousands dead, tens of thousands maimed and mentally scarred on both sides) that what had started as a possibly soluble question of national self-government has been taken over though only to some extent by Islamist extremists. Doku Umarov would not have been given the time of day by the first Chechnyan leader, General Dzhokhar Dudayev, killed by the Russians in 1996 or by Aslan Maskhadov, the last leader to be elected in anything remotely resembling a free and fair contest, also killed by the Russians in
As the same article in the New York Times describes the reaction to the attacks has been quite similar to previous ones. President Medvedev has called for "far more cruel tactics" in dealing with militants. Indeed, the Ministry of Interior will be overhauled with that particular aim in view.
The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service said that authorities knew who planned Monday’s attack and the double suicide bombing on Wednesday in Dagestan that killed 12, and that they were interrogating suspects and carrying out search operations.This has worked so well before.