Details of the Special Operation in Ekazhevo (Photonews)
On March 10, members of HRC Memorial visited Ekazhevo and met the relatives of Kartoyev brothers who are accused of the involvement in mujahedeen and harbouring in their house a radical Islamic preacher Said Buryatsky (Alexander Tikhomirov).
Umatgiri Kartoyev, head of the family, tells that around 6am on March 2 he was returning home from a mosque. Suddenly many officers of federal law enforcement authorities appeared on Kartoyev street. They blocked Kartoyev’s house and the houses of his sons living nearly. Kartoyevs did not understand anything. Suddenly the shooting started. The density of fire was very high, shooting did not stop till night.
Siloviks (Russian security service personnel) fired at the house of an elder son, Tukhan Kartoyev, was born in 1970. Movlatkhan Kartoyeva, his mothers, tells that Tukhan was killed almost at once when left the house after had heard sounds of shooting and a neighbor’s cry for help. His brother Nazir, was born in 1978, was supposedly killed on the street when he was trying to enter his brother Beslan’s courtyard. During the firing at the Kartoyevs’ houses another brother – Akhmed, was born in 1981 – was killed.
Some houses were gravely damaged. On the first day Tukhan’s house suffered damages most.
Three more brothers Kartoyev were abducted – Tarkhan, was born in 1972, Tatarkhan, was born in 1973, and Beslan, was born in 1977. Parents thought that also their son Magomed, was born in 1979, had been abducted because they could not find him anywhere.
The bodies of killed were taken to Nazran morgue. The district where the special operation was being held remained under control of siloviks.
On March 3, members of law enforcement authorities started searching Kartoyevs’ houses. Suddenly the shooting began. It continued the whole day. Later it was officially announced that one of the boyeviks who had survived the day before and was hiding in the basement of the house started shooting at the members of the investigation group. One of them was killed. Also one OMON officer was severly wounded. Magomed Kartoyev hiding in the basement was also killed.
In the evening of March 3 the bodies of the killed were taken from the morgue in an unknown direction. The bodies of the Kartoyev brothers were not given to the relatives. On March 16 the relatives submitted an application to the Ingush public prosecutor but so far the bodies of the killed have not been given to them.
Since 4 till 6 March siloviks stayed at the territory of the special operation. Umatgiri Kartoyev says that they robbed seven houses that belonged to his family, then ruined them and set on fire.
On March 7 Umatgiri with relatives was invited to visit president of Ingushetia Yunusbek Yevkurov. He said that the radical Islamic preacher Said Buryatsky was hiding in the brothers’ house and that Umatgiri’s sons were involved in some crimes committed at the territory of Ingushetia including firing at police officers and killing them. Umatgiri stated that did not know who Said Buryatsks was. He said that his sons earned an honest livelihood and that the authorities never laid claims to any of them.
Kartoyevs’ relatives and neighbors also doubt that Tikhomirov was hiding exactly at Kartoyev street. They suppose that he could have been killed together with two other boeviks in the house of Dobriyevs, at Albogachieva street. There was also a fight on March 2 at that street. This house is situated more than in a half a kilometer from Kartoyevs’ houses, at the end of the street, it is not enclosed with a fence. Local residents say that the owners of the house have not been living there for already a long time. They used to rent this house out, in recent months there were no lodgers.
On March 2 at 6am Dobriyevs’ house was blocked by the siloviks. They shot at it by different types of armors for almost a whole day. As a result, the house was totally ruined. It was impossible to leave even the neighboring houses so there are no witnesses who would confirm that someone fired from the house.
Three bodies were pulled out of the ruins. At the Albogachiev street some people with the surname Kartoyev were abducted. Witnesses say that the young men were abducted only in the heat of the moment. Siloviks illegally searched the houses neighboring to the Dobriyevs’ one, they intentionally damaged furniture and cars. The owners say that after the searches some their valuables were missing.
According to the version of the Russian authorities, seven boyeviks were killed during the special operation in Ekazhevo among them Said Buryatsky, four brothers Kartoyevs, a certain B. Dalgiyev and a still not unidentified person. Another member of this armed group, Adam Kodzoev, was born in 1979, a member of Federal Treasury in Ingushetia, was killed on March 4 at the village of Srednie Archaluki. Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that he was a financier of the group. FSB also says that since November 2009 till February 2010 this group committed 15 terrorist acts in relation to representatives of authorities and civil population.
During the special operation ten residents of Ekazhevo were abducted. All of them were taken to a Moscow investigation isolation ward Lefortovo. Among the hostages there are three survived Umatgiri Kartoyev’s sons, six people with surname Kartoyev more and Zelimkhan Aushev. These hostages are indicted of involvement in the explosion of the train Nevsky express on November 27, 2009.
Photos of the operation zone after the storm: