– ZNAMENSKOYE & ILISKHAN-YURT SUICIDE BOMBINGS
On 05/12/2003, three Chechen suicide bombers, including two Black Widows women, drove a truck bomb laden with more than a tone of explosives, crashed through a barrier guarding the administrative building in the town of Znamenskoye and blew up into a local government administration and the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) complex in Znamenskoye in northern Chechnya, killing at least 59 people and injuring about 200, mostly civilians.
A spokesman for the FSB said: “The terrorist attack in Znamenskoye, the blasts in Saudi Arabia, as well as last year’s attacks on the island of Bali and in Grozny share common background and logic” trying to affiliate the Chechen militants to Al Qaeda and the phenomena of Global Jihad.
The mainstream wing of the rebels led by Aslan Maskhadov denied involvement and condemned the attack.
Iliskhan-Yurt, 45 km East of Chechnya’s capital Grozny, is considered sacred to Caucasian Muslims as the birthplace of three respected 19th century sheiks, who preached in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
Two days after the Znamenskoye bombing, on 05/14/2003, the pro-Russian Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov was attacked by a pair Black Widows suicide bombers at a religious festival in Iliskhan-Yurt. They were stopped by Kadyrov’s bodyguards. 16, including four bodyguards, were killed in the blasts and over 150 wounded. The majority of victims were civilians including children and elderly people (see – Kadyrov Assassination).
One of the female suicide bombers was identified as a 46-year-old Shakhida Baimuratova (pic), a resident of Gudermes, the nearby town, whose husband was killed in 1999. The woman had explosives tied to her belt. A second woman bomber was also present in the scene but her explosives failed to detonate and she was killed by the initial the blast.
Investigators believe that the bomber, Shakhida Baimuratova, was a rebel fighter and belonged to a group of independence fighters loyal to rebel warlord Shamil Basayev. Her accomplice is believed to have belonged to the same group. Russian security service – FSB officials alleged that Chechen suicide bombers receive training from a Saudi citizen, Abu al-Walid.
* Few weeks later, on 07/27/2003, Akhmad Kadyrov was attacked by another young Black Widow, Mariam Tashukhadzhiyeva, in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny. She approached a building where Akhmad Kadyrov was reviewing new security officers. When Mariam Tashukhadzhiyeva was stopped by security guards she detonated herself causing no casualties but to herself.
Mariam Tashukhadzhiyeva was the sister of Ruslan Mangeriyev, who was killed few weeks earlier by pro-Russian Chechen militia under the command of Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of Akhmad Kadyrov.
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