Suicide bombing hit police headquarters in Russia

At 9:08 a.m. on 17 August 2009, an unidentified militant drove a GAZelle truck into the gates of a police headquarters building in Nazran, Ingushetia’s largest city.

GAZelle

GAZelle

The attack occurred as police officers were lining up nearby for a morning briefing. Policemen fired at the car, but were unable to stop it.

The blast, which reportedly had the force of 400 kg of dynamite, created a crater 4 metres (13 ft) wide and 2 metres (6.6 ft) deep, damaged the police headquarters building and nearby apartments.

It also caused ammunition stored in the police headquarters to explode. Twenty people were reported to have been killed and 138 were injured.

According the Republic’s Deputy Interior Minister Zyaudin Dourbekov, police had received information on August 15 that a vehicle of this type was going to be used in a terrorist attack.

The Ingush authorities announced a three-day mourning period and promised to pay 100,000 rubles ($3,000 USD) and 50,000 rubles ($1,500 USD) in compensation to the families of those killed or injured. Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations dispatched a plane to Ingushetia carrying medical specialists and aid for the victims.

Following the attack, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked the interior minister of the Ingushetian republic, saying that the attack could have been preventable. “This is the outcome not only of the problems related to terrorist attacks, but also of the republic law enforcement agencies’ unsatisfactory work,” Medvedev said.

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