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23 Jun, 2009 14:01

Ingush suicide bomber could be a woman

Initial forensic results taken from the scene of the assassination attempt on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov indicate that the unknown suicide bomber could have been a woman.

The condition of the remnants found makes it impossible to tell the gender and age of the suicide bomber, but several toes found may have belonged to a woman’s or a young male’s foot, reports Kommersant Daily.

The investigative committee has not confirmed the information about the gender of the suicide bomber. Geneticists are being employed to confirm the identity of the suicide bomber, and this will take a certain amount of time.

Earlier, a source in the police told ITAR-TASS news agency about the possible identity of the bomber. It potentially could have been a citizen of the neighbouring city of Malgobek, Pyatimat Mutalieva.

However, RIA writes, this information has been rejected by the local department of Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB). FSB press service representative Damir Rossin told the agency:

“We officially announce that Mutalieva is alive, in good health, studying, took her exams yesterday, and has nothing to do with the assassination.”

Russian special services have a DNA database of all the terminated militants, which makes comparing them with the remnants of Ingush suicide bomber just a matter of time.

Bodyguards to blame?

A source in Russian special services told RIA Novosti news agency Yevkurov’s bodyguards should be partly blamed for the attack as they let the unauthorized vehicle approach the president’s convoy.

Possibly the reason behind this is because the bomber used a Toyota Camry business-class car with Moscow license plates, which is quite unusual for Ingushetia. The plates had been stolen from a car in Moscow some time ago and their owner has already been ascertained.

Nevertheless, the prevention of all unauthorized vehicles from approaching the car of the secured person is basic procedure when organizing VIP security. Moreover, the president’s convoy was moving at an insufficient speed, thus facilitating the terrorist attack.

Security personnel say the leaders of Russia’s national republics often refuse to use the service of professionals from the Federal Security Service (FSB) and hire bodyguards from their inner circle, thus exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.

It also must be noted that the road police patrol car accompanying the convoy also passed the terrorist’s Toyota without paying due attention to it.

A state officials’ security expert told Interfax “it might have been a mistake in the way the security convoy was moving.”

He added that the car with bodyguards that was to prevent any possible attack from the right or left side had potentially noticed the Toyota, but either had no time to react appropriately or underestimated the situation.

“It’s possible that security staff decided that the car with, as it appeared later, the suicide bomber was simply making a stop, and, therefore, they didn’t maneuver to the right to shelter the [president’s] car,” the source said.

The fact that the Ingush president survived the attack is down to luck, because his armoured Mercedes’ engine took the brunt of the blast wave, while the body of the president's car merely burnt down to a heap of scrap.

The engine of the terrorist's Toyota Camry was found some 400 meters from the explosion epicenter, and evidence of the assassination attempt is being collected from as far as half a kilometer away.

“The next two-three days are going to be critical”

The attempted murder of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov occurred on Monday when a suicide bomber drove their explosive-stuffed car straight into the president’s motorcade. Yevkurov is severely wounded, having received head, chest and liver injuries. He was taken to a leading surgical hospital in Russia’s capital the same day.

Medics say his condition is severe but stable. They say the next two-three days are going to be critical and absolutely everything possible will be done by the best Russian surgeons to save the president’s life.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Yunus-Bek Yevkurov in the hospital late in the evening on Monday.