Gunmen kill 11, wound 15 in attack on Russian military recruits in Chechnya
Russia says one of its soldiers was killed in the shooting.
MOSCOW, November 20 James Foley
Gunmen killed 11 people in a Russian border town on Monday, including one of its soldiers, and wounded 15 others in a shooting spree that also injured two Russian soldiers at a military recruiting center, an official said.
The attack unfolded in the Caucasus Mountains near the Russian village of Podyukelki.
The U.S. State Department said in a note on its website Tuesday that it “condemns in the strongest terms the horrific attack that took the life of 16 civilians and wounded 14 others in eastern Chechnya,” but did not further mention the shooting in Khodzha, which is near the southern Russian border with Chechnya, or give a U.S. location. Russian media have said the two Russian soldiers were wounded.
The Kremlin, in an email to reporters, didn’t say whether there had been any casualties from the attack, but said that, while the deaths might have been the result of “provocation,” it was unacceptable to target civilians in “armed clashes.”
“All Russians have to recognize that such a senseless act cannot be supported by military operations,” it said.
A regional government spokesman, Aleksandr Puzanov, said one of the attackers had died.
Russian security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to reporters, said an investigation into the attack was under way.
The attackers had used three vehicles and one person on foot, said Oleg Syromolotov, deputy head of the region’s border security service. He said he believed that the shooter was on foot and had used two motorcycles and a car.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “shocked” by the news, which came as he was meeting with other heads of state at the start of a G20 summit in Russia’s resort city of St. Petersburg.
A state of emergency was declared in Khodz