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Islamic State claims killing of Chechnya police officer in grenade and knife attack

Islamic State claimed one of its fighters killed a police officer in the Achkhoi-Martanovsky district Chechnya on Monday, just eight days after an ISIS-claimed attack in regional capital Grozny.

ISIS in a Tuesday, July 2 statement claimed a fighter from its Caucasus Province affiliate “managed to attack a Chechen police officer with a knife and a hand grenade in the village of Bamut … which led to his death.”

A law enforcement officer was killed and several others injured at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Bamut, around 40 km (25 miles) west of Grozny, the capital of the Chechnya region in Russia’s North Caucasus, Tass reported, adding that the assailant was killed.

On June 23, two people were injured in an ISIS-claimed knife attack near Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s residence in Grozny. The attacker was shot dead at the scene. According to police he was a Chechen born in 1997.

A day earlier, two alleged “followers of the Islamic State” who had been planning attacks were killed in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan. The two men opened fire on security forces after their car was stopped, and officers returned fire, killing the attackers, Tass reported.

The republic of Dagestan, one of the poorest and most unstable regions of Russia, is east of Chechnya, and is the target of regular attacks, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State. Authorities say around 1,300 Dagestanis traveled to fight in Syria.

In April, one suspected Islamic State member in Federal Security Service (FSB) custody said he had planned to attack police with bombs dropped from a quadcopter drone.

Islamic State’s Caucasus province was announced in June 2015 by then ISIS spokesperson Abu Mohammed al-Adani. It was mainly formed by defectors from the al-Qaeda linked Islamic Emirates of the Caucasus. Since 2015 ISIS has claimed responsibility for various attacks carried out by its Caucasus province on security forces and civilians, while police have carried out several operations against claimed militants.

In May 2018, three people were shot and killed at a church in Chechnya in an attack claimed by ISIS. A few months later in August, multiple police were injured in several linked attacks in Gronzy, which ISIS said it was behind.

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