MOSCOW – A man from Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region shot and wounded a police officer in Moscow on Thursday and was fatally wounded by retaliatory fire, officials said.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, the nation’s top state investigative agency, said the assailant fired at two policemen near the main Foreign Ministry building in downtown Moscow. Police shot back and wounded the attacker.
Police identified the attacker as Renat Kunashev, 30-year-old resident of the Russian province of Kabardino-Balkariya in the North Caucasus, the Interfax news agency reported. It said the weapon he used to attack police fired non-lethal ammunition, but did not give further information.
Tass and Interfax later quoted police as saying that the attacker died of a head wound.
The assailant’s motives weren’t immediately clear, but police said they don’t believe that he had any links to Islamist militants active in some of North Caucasus provinces. Militants, some of whom have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group, have spread across the region after two separatist wars in Chechnya.
The incident in Moscow comes days after Islamist militants launched a series of attacks in Chechnya, leaving at least five teenage militants dead and several police officers wounded. IS claimed responsibility for Monday’s attacks in Chechnya that defied regional strongman Ramzan Kadyrov’s claims of stability.
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