Chechens shot in Istanbul were 'bomb suspects': Russia

26th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that two Chechens shot dead in Istanbul last month were believed to be the suspects in a January bomb attack on Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

"Investigators are checking information on the murder in September 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, of the suspects on an international wanted list, Zaurbek Amriyev and Rustam Altemirov," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

On September 16, three men were shot outside a mosque in Istanbul after leaving Friday prayers in a bold, daylight attack. They were named as Zaurbek Amriyev, Rustam Altemirov and Berg-Khazh Musayev.

Russia's central investigative body did not comment on the identity of the third man.

Turkish media has speculated on the involvement of Russian special services in the shooting.

A bomb exploded in the international arrivals area of Moscow's busiest airport on January 24, killing 37 people and injuring more than 100.

In July, Moscow's Basmanny district court sanctioned Altemirov's arrest, saying he was suspected of murder and terrorism over the Domodedovo bombing.

Russia is holding four suspects who have not been charged over the bombing, and has also issued arrest warrants for two other suspects, insurgent leaders Doku Umarov and Aslan Byutukayev, the Investigative Committee said Wednesday.

Umarov has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov earlier this month attributed the shooting in Istanbul to infighting among criminal groups, saying it was organised by insurgent leader Umarov.

"There is information that it is internal conflict of bandit groups. It is known that bandits headed by Umarov are behind it," the strongman leader was quoted as saying by his press service.

© 2011 AFP

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