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Ingush Insurgents Admit Suicide Bomber Targeted The Wrong Victims

Investigators work at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the village of Sagopshi in the Malgobek district, which killed several policemen.
Investigators work at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the village of Sagopshi in the Malgobek district, which killed several policemen.
The commanders of the Ingushetia wing of the North Caucasus insurgency have admitted that the fighter who blew himself up at a funeral in the village of Sagopshi on August 19 for a police officer killed the previous day failed to realize that the police who came to pay their respects to their slain colleague were not the members of the Malgobek municipal police whom he was tasked to kill.

In a statement dated August 22 and posted two days later on the insurgency website, the commanders explained that the aim of the suicide bombing was to kill Malgobek municipal police chief Mukhazhir Yevloyev, whom they described as “one of the worst enemies of Allah.”

They stressed that it is normal practice for Yevloyev and his subordinates to attend the funerals of fellow police officers killed.

That admission corroborates the Ingushetian authorities’ claim that Ilez Korigov was killed in order to lure Yevloyev to his funeral. But the statement also disclosed that Korigov had been the handler of Khadjimurad Gatagazhev, whom they identified as a “a secret agent of the infidels’ special services.”

The insurgent leadership claimed to have executed Gatagazhev on August 12. He was shot outside his home in Sagopshi by four masked men.

What the suicide bomber did not know, however, was that the entire Malgobek municipal police detachment had been deployed to hunt for the vehicle in which Korigov’s killer made his getaway, and the officers who showed up at his funeral were members of a border police detachment of which Korigov’s uncle Lamazan Korigov was a deputy commander.

The insurgent commanders stressed that the primary target of the suicide bombing was Yevloyev, and the bomber had orders not to proceed with the operation if Yevloyev did not show up at the funeral.

They speculated that the bomber mistook Ensign Khizir Fargiyev for Yevloyev.

Fargiyev, 39, seemingly recognized the bomber from a federal “wanted” list and intercepted him before he could approach the main body of mourners, according to his brother and fellow police officer Salambek Fargiyev, who survived the attack.

Apparently, Khizir Fargiyev greeted the bomber, walked up to him and embraced him; at that moment, the bomber detonated his explosives.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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