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Two children killed in car attack in Chechnya

Two girls aged 7 and 8 were killed after unidentified assailants attacked a car in southern Chechnya, local police said on Sunday.
GROZNY, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Two girls aged 7 and 8 were killed after unidentified assailants attacked a car in southern Chechnya, local police said on Sunday.

The incident occurred at about 12:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m. GMT) on Sunday when unidentified persons opened fire at a car, in which a representative of the Chechnya ombudsman in the Vedeno district, Khasambek Zubairayev, was travelling. Zubairayev's nieces were killed while his brother and his sister, who were also in the car, were wounded, the police said.

Chechnya human rights envoy Nurdi Nukhazhiyev said the Chechen Vostok special battalion could be involved in the attack.

"I do not rule out that servicemen of the Vostok battalion could be involved in the shooting because Zubairayev actively supported Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and, as a person with spiritual education, urged people in mosques to act against the illegitimate actions by servicemen," Nukhazhiyev told RIA Novosti.

He said the provocation was aimed at disrupting revival processes launched by the Chechen president in that region.

Meanwhile, police have not yet given any comments on the incident.

The media earlier reported of an alleged shootout in Chechnya April 14, involving security convoys of the Chechen president and Sulim Yamadayev, the commander of the Vostok special battalion.

Two rival columns of vehicles crashed on April 14 on a highway in Gudermes after refusing to give way to each other. However, the Russian Defense Ministry officially denied Wednesday a shootout between the rivals.

In a local television interview on Wednesday, Kadyrov accused Yamadayev and his younger brother, Badrudi Yamadayev, of a number of crimes and demanded that they be brought to justice.

"The Yamadayev brothers are linked to a number of serious crimes, including murders and abductions, as well as the events in the Borozdinovskaya [village]," Kadyrov said.

Vostok battalion troops conducted a special military operation in the Borozdinovskaya village in the summer of 2005. Four houses were burnt down, 11 people disappeared and a 77-year-old man died as a result of the operation.

"A criminal must be in a jail. The law is universal for everyone," Kadyrov added.

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