The Islamic State has carried out a series of coordinated attacks against Russian security forces in Chechnya on Monday.
The Islamic state claimed responsibility for the attacks against security forces in Russia’s volatile autonomous republic of Chechnya with authorities claiming to have killed at least five assailants all of whom were teenagers.
According to information gathered from the Islamic state website;
“Fighters from the Islamic State attacked Chechen police officers and elements in Grozny and Shali in Mesker-Yurt.”
All the attackers were teenagers aged between 11 and 16 according to the regional information minister who confirmed that the Islamic state had started recruiting child foot soldiers in Chechnya.
While the attacks appeared not to be particularly sophisticated or effective according to Russian authorities, several policemen were injured in the attacks while five teenage attackers were killed.
Reacting to the incident, Ramzan Kadyrov Chechnya’s President who was visiting Saudi Arabia at the time of the attacks said through his official Telegram social-networking account that one of the attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber who injured several policemen in the process; the suicide bomber also survived the explosion and was taken to a hospital.
The Chechen President blamed extremist propaganda that confuse young men for the assaults adding that the attacks were staged to “darken” the festivities as Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Police further reported a separate incident in the North Caucasus region where two men armed with knives managed to enter the district police department in the town of Shali and inflicted severe knife wounds on two police officers on duty before being shot dead.
Another attack also happened in Shali where two assailants tried to blow up a truck loaded with gas canisters in a suicide mission, but the vehicle failed to explode and both assailants were shot dead by police.
Grozny also witnessed several attacks; an attacker was killed after hitting a traffic policeman with his car and a police officer was also killed in a shoot-out between police officers and other groups of attackers at the intersection between Pervyomaiskaya and Isaev streets in Grozny.
Moscow has relied on Kadyrov to stabilise Chechnya after two separatist wars in the 1990s and has provided generous subsidies to help rebuild the region.
International human rights groups have accused Kadyrov of rampant abuses, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings by his feared security forces.
Several Chechen rebels have sworn alliance with the Islamic state in the region although the Islamic state has claimed attacks in the region it had no hand in planning according to authorities.