The investigation determined that explosion in the Department for Internal Affairs in the Chechen capital, Grozny, was an act of terrorism, Chechnya Prosecutor Nikolay Kostyuchenko says. He adds that parts of an explosive device were found amidst the debris of the building. According to some sources, the explosive had been brought by someone of the police staff and placed at the door of the police chief’s office.
The explosion sounded at about 5:00 p.m. yesterday. At that very time top police officers gathered in the building for a debate. The explosion caused collapse of floors from the fourth to the first floors.
RIA Novosti informs, there is still no information concerning the exact number of people staying in the building by the explosion moment. The Grozny vice-mayor says the number may be about 50 people, or even more. People wounded by the explosion who are currently in the hospital, say that number of people staying in the building was even up to 100. Police Chief Magomed Chibayev was killed by the explosion. According to the recent data, total number of people killed in the accident is 15 and 17 wounded.
RTR-Vesti informs, rescue workers and pyrotechnists from FSB were working at the accident site all night long. Eight people were taken from under the debris within the night, they are all alive. Rescue workers promise to demolish the debris by the end of the day and remove bodies of the killed. Currently it is examined who had entered and left the building before the explosion sounded. What is more, re-certification of the police personnel is to be started in Grozny soon to identify whether some of them could be connected with armed bandit groups.
Secretary of the Chechen Security Council Rudnik Dudayev is sure that it wasn’t a gas explosion but an act of terrorism. He told journalists, the victims had no wounds typical of domestic gas explosion. Is it accidental that almost all people killed by the explosion were police top officers, rather experienced in the law enforcement system? However, the Security Council chairman doesn’t think it is necessary to increase military presence in the republic because of the recent acts of terrorism.
FSB Director in Chechnya Sergey Babkin told in an interview to Interfax, the strength of the explosive device was about 20 kg TNT. He says, it is not yet identified what kind of explosive it was; this could be hexogen as well as trotyl. He is also perfectly sure that the explosion was an act of terrorism. Sergey Babkin says that since now FSB will be more strict in recruiting people to the police.”
Chechen law enforcement authorities reported today, chief of the Kurchaloy police department Ruslan Vakhidov was arrested on suspicion of co-operation with terrorists and organization of several acts of terrorism. ITAR-TASS informs, according to provisional data Vakhidov’s criminal group consisted of ten people, including several police officers.