RealNews

Chechen Women Being Seized to Preempt Bombings, Rights Groups Say

Female kin of suspected rebels are reportedly taken away by security forces to unclear fates. The pattern is chilling in its simplicity. First, the husband dies. Often, he’s a Chechen rebel fighter, or someone merely suspected of being a rebel. He is killed in a firefight with Russian forces, or he is arrested and dies in custody. Then, the woman who mourns him disappears. Sometimes she is released after a few days or a few weeks. Or sometimes not at all. In what human rights groups say is a new strategy of preemptive strikes, Russian security services have launched a series of raids targeting young Chechen women seen as potential “black widow” suicide bombers. Such bombers, having lost a husband, father or brother, leave quiet farm villages like this one, board the slow overnight train to Moscow, strap bomb packs known as “martyr belts” to their waists and transform their despair into horrific explosions. Full Story

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