Russian Army Accidentally Bombs Dagestani Boarding School in Snafu. A Russian army unit on September 13th fired mortar rounds at a boarding school in Buinaksk, Dagestan, under the mistaken impression that it was a militant base. No one was hurt, but the building was damaged. A squad commander is considered responsible for giving the botched instructions.
6 Dead, 4 Arrested in Week of North Caucasus Violence. A helicopter gunship in the midst of a military operation crashed in the mountainous border region between the Chechen Republic and Republic of Dagestan, in southwestern Russia’s North Caucasus region, on September 8th. At least four people were killed. Also, in Dagestan, four men from the Khasavyurtovskaya criminal gang and one from the Novolaksky gang—both linked to Islamic insurgents—surrendered to police on September 9th, and in the Republic of Ingushetia the following day, investigators revealed that the suicide-bomber who killed eight police at a funeral last month (as reported at the time in this blog) was the son of a Chechen ex-policeman. And on September 13th the federal National Anti-Terrorism Committee announced that Russian special forces had killed the head of the Kizlyar gang, an Islamist militia, in Dagestan. The leader, Oki Nazhmudinov (nom de guerre: Bilal), was suspected of a 2010 terrorist attack that killed 12. Another Kizlyar insurgent was also killed.
|The aftermath of last week’s bombing of a police funeral in Ingushetia|
SOUTH CAUCASUS (GEORGIA, ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN)
South Ossetian Deputy Defense Minister Survives Bomb Planted in Home. The deputy minister of defense for the Republic of South Ossetia, an unrecognized puppet state of Russia carved out of the Republic of Georgia’s northwestern tip, survived an attempt on his life on September 13th when a bomb exploded in his apartment in Tskhinvali, the capital. There were no injuries, though the target, Ibragim Gaseyev, was at home with his family. The South Ossetian chief prosecutor, Merab Chigoev, speculated that the assassination attempt was “related to the fact that Gaseyev, who is a graduate of the military academy of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, is one of the well-trained South Ossetian military specialists. We deem it possible that he was deliberately targeted with an assassination attempt by foreign special services.”
1 Russian Was Captured Alive in Lopota Gorge Operation, 5 Still at Large. Scraps of information continued to leak out about last month’s murky special-forces operation against Islamists in the Republic of Georgia. On September 8th, the Georgian ministry of the interior confirmed that one of the militants in the siege, in the Lopota Gorge near the border with Russia’s Republic of Dagestan, was captured alive but wounded and is recovering. He is described as a Russian. Five militants are still at large, and special forces are searching for them.
U.S. Lawmaker Pushes Draft Law on South Azerbaijan Secession. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a United States congressman for California, has proposed a bill to the House Foreign Relations Committee advocating the secession of “South Azerbaijan,” the northwestern Azeri region of Iran, and its unification with the Republic of Azerbaijan to the north. The information was provided to the public by Hüseyin Türkelli, chairman of the Center for Defense of Southern Azeri Turks. (The Azeri speak a Turkic language and are sometimes called “Turks” or “Turcomans.”)
[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. Look for it in spring 2013. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]