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31 Aug, 2007 07:31

Ingushetia murders: racial hatred and revenge not excluded

Russian authorities say they have sent the best detectives available to find the gunmen who shot dead three members of a Russian family on Thursday night in the town of Karabulak in Russia’s southern republic of Ingushetia.

The husband and two sons of a local teacher, Vera Dragonchuk, were killed but she and another relative managed to escape.
She said the events happened very quickly that night.
“I did not see any of it. I got out of there right away. My brother was sleeping and he did not hear anything. He got out only later when he heard cries. Everything happened so quickly, it lasted no longer than three minutes. It was unimaginably quick, and when I got out, there was already nobody in the yard,” Vera Dragonchuk explained.

Boris Tonkogubov, a relative of the victims, who was in a nearby house at the time of the attack, says the silencer must have been used as he did not hear any shots.
“By the time I ran out it was too late. There were no cars in the street or any men running away. They must have used a silencer because I didn’t hear any shots. I was only woken up when I heard my sister screaming and crying,” he assured.

Prosecutors are looking into a number of motives for the killing, including racial hatred and revenge.
Yury Turygin, Chief Prosecutor of Ingushetia, commented on how the investigation is going.
“We have several scenarios that we are checking. There are a number of suspects that have committed similar crimes against ethnic Dagestanis. The killings could be aimed at disrupting the programme which allows Russian nationals to return, and at destabilising the situation in the Republic,” he stated.
Authorities say the murder might be connected to similar attacks in July when a teacher and her two children were killed. Then, several days later a bomb exploded, injuring seven people.