Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Airstrikes in Ingushetia

Via Prague Watchdog (my. tr.):

Airstrikes in one of Ingushetia’s mountain districts

By Liza Osmayeva

INGUSHETIA – During the night of May 1-2 Russian fighter-bomber airforce made several strikes on a forest tract in the north-western part of Ingushetia. There were no casualties or structural damage.

The strikes were reportedly carried out in an area of mountain and forest situated between the Nazranovsky and Sunzhensky districts of the republic (not far from Ingushetia’s administrative border with North Ossetia). Local residents say they heard the sound of jet fighters, and of bombs being dropped in the vicinity of the villages of Ali-Yurt and Surkhakhi in Ingushetia’s Nazranovsky district.

"At around 11.30 pm we heard the rumble of aircraft. After a while there was the sound of bombs being dropped. It’s very probable that the strikes were carried out on the area of forest to the southeast of the villages of Ali-Yurt and Surkhakhi. There were only two explosions, 10-15 minutes apart. The force of the blast wave was such that the glass rattled in the windows of several houses. We were so scared that we couldn’t get to sleep all night. Fortunately, no one was hurt as a result of these raids,” Akhmed G., a resident of Ali-Yurt, said in a conversation with PW’s correspondent.

It is not known what served as the grounds for airstrikes on the forest. In connection with the incident the Ingushetian law enforcement agencies have reported that sub-units of the 58th Army were taking part in special training exercises on the outskirts of Surkhakhi and Ali-Yurt. However, officials of the republic’s interior ministry refused to answer a question about whether ground support aircraft were used in the course of the exercises.

In addition, it is reported that on the same night Russian soldiers also subjected the outskirts of the village of Valerik in the Achkhoy-Martanovsky district of Chechnya to a concentrated artillery bombardment. The attack began at approximately 11 pm and went on for 10-15 minutes. According to local residents, the firing came from long-range artillery at a place in the Urus-Martanovsky district where Russian soldiers are deployed. No one was hurt as a result of the shelling.
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