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Criminal case opened over attack at journalists and human rights activists in Ingushetia

March 10, 10:20 UTC+3 NAZRAN
According to the Interior Ministry, the search operation is currently underway for establishing persons who committed this attack
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© Tatiana Silina/TASS Archive

NAZRAN, March 10. /TASS/. The criminal case has been opened in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia over Wednesday’s attack at the mini-bus with human rights activists and journalists in the city of Sunzha, the republic’s Interior Ministry told TASS on Thursday.

"The search operation is currently underway for establishing persons who committed this attack," the Interior Ministry said adding that the criminal case was opened on charges of "hooliganism" and "deliberate damage of property."

On Wednesday member of the Russian presidential council on development of civil society and human rights, chairman of the Committee on torture prevention Igor Kalyapin said that a group of human rights activists and journalists were attacked near the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya. "Approximately at 7:15pm, a group of unidentified persons moving in three vehicles attacked a group of human rights activists from the Free Mobile Group and journalists on the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya. Journalists and human rights activists were beaten up. Cellphones were seized from the two of them. The car of human rights activists was damaged and set on fire," the website of the Russian presidential council on development of civil society and human rights cited Kalyapin as saying.

It was reported that around 20 unidentified persons attacked the group of human rights activists and journalists heading for Chechnya. Six people were injured in the attack, and four of them sought medical aid. Among those injured are a citizen of Sweden and a Norwegian journalist.

Kalyapin told TASS earlier today that unidentified persons broke into the office of human rights activists in Ingushetia’s Karabulak in a separate attack on Wednesday. "A group of unidentified persons armed with automatic weapons broke into the office in Karabulak. We saw them break into the rented apartment (that served as an office), broke cameras," Kalyapin said adding that connection was later lost. No one was at the office at the moment of the attack, he noted.

A source in Ingush law enforcement agencies told TASS that the police is verifying reports about the attack at the office of human rights organization "Committee on Torture Prevention" in Karabulak. "According to our information, this is the office located in an apartment of a multi-story building in the new neighborhood of the Yandare settlement (not far from Karabulak," the source said. An group of investigators was dispatched to the site, he added.

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