RealNews

Female Suicide Bombers Unnerve Russians

Zulikhan Elikhadzhiyeva lived much of her short life surrounded by the horrors of the two wars in Chechnya, but she suffered comparatively little. She lived in a cloistered brick house in this small Chechen village, which has largely escaped war’s worst ravages. She studied at the village’s medical vocational school and interned at its local clinic. Little seems to explain why a month ago, accompanied by another woman, she approached the entrance to a music festival in Moscow and blew herself up. The blast killed only her, but the other woman detonated her own suicide bomb moments later, killing at least 16 people. Ms. Elikhadzhiyeva was 20. In the last four months, seven suicide attacks, all but one of them carried out by women, have spread fear across Russia, killing 165 people in all and setting in motion a new dynamic in the four-year-old war against Chechen secessionists. Russian news media, echoing officials, have dubbed the perpetrators “black widows,” women prepared to kill and to die to avenge the deaths of fathers, husbands, brothers and sons at the hands of Russian troops in the current war or the one in the 1990’s. Full Story

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