In Chechnya, nine people were killed and dozens injured when three suicide bombers detonated explosives in the capital city of Grozny.
Seven police officers, an emergency worker and a civilian died in the blasts. The attack occurred during the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, a two-day feast to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan. Chechnya is a primarily Muslim federal subject of Russia. About 94 percent of Chechens practice Sunni Islam.
According to reports out of Russia, the bombers were dressed as police officers. After the first explosion, which killed two people, police and emergency workers immediately responded and rushed to the scene. At that point, one of the bombers walked into a group and detonated explosives hidden on his person. The third blast occurred shortly after.
This type of multi-stage attack is often used in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. It is a way to maximize causalities and to target state security forces. Militants around the world are increasingly focused on government and security personnel, generally with the goal of destabilizing the state and shaking the confidence of citizens.
A Chechen insurgent group led by Dokka Umarov is thought to be responsible for the attacks, according to The Toronto Sun. Umarov is called the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate, a separatists Muslim government. His group was responsible for the bombing at a Moscow airport in January that killed 37 people, and the 2010 Moscow subway bombing that killed 40.
“I am once again firmly convinced that only tough, uncompromising measures can uproot this evil,” said Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. He also labelled the attackers zombified bandits and not people, but the devil incarnate.
Police have identified two of the bombers so far. Both native Chechens, the men are Magamed Dashaev and Adlan Hamidov, 22 and 21 years old, respectively.
Umarov issued a statement after the attack, claiming that he was willing to be martyred for the sake of independence as well.
Today, none of us knows how and when his life will end, he said. Allah be praised, I am ready for death at any moment, I am calm and do not worry about that. I am ready for death anywhere, even at the wheel of a Kamaz [truck] with an explosive device, the statement read.