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– TUSHINO ROCK BOMBING

Two Black Widows suicide bombers killed 14 people outside a rock festival near Moscow, in Tushino Airport, on Saturday 07/05/2003.

Russian Deputy Interior Minister Rashid Nurgalyev said investigators have “managed to establish a link between the two terrorists with the rebel formations in Chechnya.”

Authorities said two women came up to the perimeter of the Tushino airfield north of Moscow, where they were stopped from entering the concert. The fourth annual festival, called “Krylya” (Wings), is popular with young people. About 20,000 people attended the cocert.

A number of people were evacuated in buses. The concert, however, was not stopped after the blasts, which police said was an attempt to prevent mass panic.

The first blast occurred when one woman stopped by guards at the festival entrance detonated an explosives-laden belt. The belt only partially exploded killing herself and a by stander. About 15 minutes later, the second woman detonated explosives at another entrance, the authorities said. The explosives and pieces of metal were strapped to her body.

Authorities said that if the bombers had been able to enter the stadium, the casualty figures would have been far higher.  Police said they found the passport of one of the women, who hade a Chechen name Zulikhan Elikhadzhieva, 20, a resident of Kurchaloi, a small town in eastern Chechnya. Zulikhan Elikhadzhieva was described as the sister of a separatist fighter who was killed six months earlier in clashes with Russian troops. She reportedly joined the resistance recently to undergo military training in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge. Security officials suggested Zulikhan Elikhadzhieva could have flown to Moscow from the Ingush city of Nazran. The second female bomber was identified as Zinaida Alieva, 26.

Officials suggested the attacks were connected with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that local presidential elections would be held in Chechnya in 10/2003.

Five days after the Tushino blast, on 07/10/2003, a third female Chechen suicide bomber, Zarema Muzhakhoyeva, 23, went by taxi to Mon Café in the busy Tverskaya Street in Moscow when she panicked and gave herself up to the Authorities. There were no claims of responsibility.

On 06/05/2003, a female suicide bomber killed at least 17 people after throwing herself under a bus carrying Russian army helicopter pilots in Mozdok in Northern North Ossetia, near war-torn Chechnya (see – Mozdok Bombings ).

 

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