Police officers injured in multiple attacks in Chechnya

Armed assailants attacked police officers in several locations in the Russian republic of Chechnya on Monday, the region’s leader said, adding that several officers sustained injuries.

One assailant attempted a suicide bombing but survived, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on Monday, August 20.

Several traffic police officers sustained injuries in capital Grozny, and two police officers were wounded in the nearby town of Shali, Kadyrov wrote on his official Telegram social networking account, adding: “The bandits have been neutralized.”

The attacks were designed to tarnish the Eid al-Adha festival of sacrifice, and the militants were influenced by Islamic State via social networks, Russian news agency Interfax reported Kadyrov as saying.

Kadyrov, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, said extremist propaganda that “confuses the young men” was to blame for the assaults, AFP reported.

Police in the North Caucasus region said two men armed with knives attempted to enter the Shali district police department and “inflicted wounds on two police employees on duty” before being shot dead, AFP reported.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had launched probes into three separate attacks against police.

In the first attack on Monday morning, two men entered the district police department in the town of Shali and wounded a pair of policemen with knives, investigators said in a statement.

The two assailants were shot dead, Chechnya’s interior ministry said.

In the village of Mesker-Yurt north of Shali, a man with a backpack attempted a suicide bombing near a police post but “police officers and civilians were not harmed by the blast,” the Investigative Committee said.

The third incident occurred on the outskirts of the Chechen capital Grozny, where a man attempted to run over a traffic policeman in his car and subsequently hit two more officers as he was chased.

Tass reported an unnamed source as saying that unknown assailants “attempted to injure police officers” at a checkpoint near Grozny and that the same car struck police officers in the city center. Tass also reported an unnamed police source as saying there were “two attacks in the city of Grozny.” That source added that in the second incident “a car was driving at a high speed, the police officers tried to stop it. … There were two people in the car, both were killed.”

Graphic video appearing to show the incident was posted on social media.

Chechnya’s interior minister Ruslan Alkhanov said the assailants “attempted to destabilize the situation in Chechnya” but have been stopped. He said no officers were killed.

Islamic State’s Amaq agency reported the attack, saying a source had said that “fighters from the Islamic State attacked officers” of the Chechen police in Grozny, Shali and Mesker-Yurt.

With reporting from AFP. This post was updated in August 20 with additional information.

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