Two officers of the traffic police have been killed in an attack, launched by radical Islamists in the Russian city of Astrakhan.
A group of unknown people initiated a car accident in the Russian city of Astrakhan and attacked officers of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate, who arrived at the scene on call. As a result, two policemen were shot dead, and their service weapons were stolen. The killed policemen had the ranks of Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant, one of them had two children.
As governor of the Astrakhan region, Alexander Zhilkin, said during emergency meeting of the regional antiterrorist commission and the operational headquarters, radical Islamists were involved in the killing of the policemen.
“This night, a group of radical Islamists-Wahhabis, actually provoking a traffic accident, committed an impudent attack on the traffic policemen,” Zhilkin said.
He also noted that a round of suspects of committing the crime had already been determined.
In its turn, the Investigative Committee reported that eight people are suspected of the policemen’s killing. Later, the committee announced that one of the eight suspects, who were put on the wanted list, was not involved in the crime. Thus, now, seven people are on the wanted list.
В связи с убийством сотрудников ДПС в Астрахани, данные лица объявлены в розыск. pic.twitter.com/cpniR0jSLg
— Skyhook (@SpecSkyhook) April 4, 2017
According to law enforcement agencies, about 00:30 am on April 4, a group of unknown persons deliberately staged a traffic accident near the Magistral store at Avtozapravochnaya street in Astrakhan city in order to call a patrol. Then they attacked a detachment of the traffic police, shot several times at the policemen, took their service weapon and left the scene.
“On the night of April 4, the traffic police received a message about a collision of the Gazel and Nissan March cars in Leninsky district of Astrakhan. A mobile patrol of the Separate Battalion of the Road Patrol Service №1 was sent to the scene of the road traffic accident. According to preliminary data, during registration of the road traffic accident the inspectors were attacked by accident participants, who were in the minibus. Attackers opened fire on the law-enforcement officers, using firearms, and fled. The traffic police officers died of their injuries before the arrival of an ambulance,” the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the region explained.
“The second participant of the accident was threatened with a reprisal. The suspects provoked the traffic accident and then forced the Nissan driver to call the police officers to the scene of the accident, they left him alive,” a source in the law enforcement told the RIA Novosti news agency.
The Sirena operational plan was introduced to search for the suspects. It was stressed that the alleged attackers move by the Gazel car.
The investigators opened a criminal case under the articles of “an encroachment on the lives of law enforcement officers”, “a theft of weapons”, “an illegal storage of weapons and ammunition.” An operational group operates at the scene.
As senior assistant to the head of the Investigative Committee, Andrei Khegay, told the RIA Novosti news agency, the search of the suspects in the killing of the two policemen in Astrakhan continues. No one has been detained so far.
Due to the incident, security measures have been strengthened in schools and universities of Astrakhan region.
This is not the first such incident in Astrakhan. In the summer of 2010, three attacks on policemen occurred in the city. At first, unknown people attacked a police squad, killed one officer and seriously wounded another one in one of the central parks. A day later, policemen came under fire, when they tried to check documents, one of the wounded police officers died. After some time, criminals fired at a patrol car and wounded three policemen. A suspect in the attack was eliminated. It was reported that he kept the victims weapons and car mining schemes at his home.