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Kadyrov Urges Killing Relatives of Gunmen Behind Dagestan Attacks


Сhechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has called on law enforcement and security officials to kill the family members of suspected Islamic militants following deadly attacks on religious sites in the neighboring republic of Dagestan over the weekend, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) affiliate Kavkaz.Realii reported Wednesday.

“If [the suspected shooter] is connected with Shaitans, then their entire family should be punished. This family should know that they’re fully responsible,” Kadyrov, speaking in his native Chechen, was quoted as saying during a meeting with regional security officials on Tuesday.

“Whoever encroaches on [police officers] must understand that we’ll kill everyone in a blood feud — their father, brother, uncle,” he added.

The Chechen leader's remarks come after gunmen killed nearly two dozen people in coordinated attacks on Orthodox churches and synagogues in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Sunday evening. Regional authorities said five assailants were killed in those attacks.

In a social media post shared the same day as the meeting with security officials, Kadyrov did not repeat his threats toward the relatives of the gunmen. But he did warn that the attackers and their accomplices would be “punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Kadyrov also urged residents of Chechnya to exercise “vigilance toward their next of kin to protect them from the harmful influence of terrorist ideology.”

The Chechen strongman has previously called for violence against government critics, including “shooting” protesters “in the head” as well as “breaking the fingers and tearing out the tongues” of those who insult him.

On New Year’s Eve, Kadyrov called forblood vengeance” against the relatives of those who commit violence against Chechen law enforcement officials. 

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