Mother and Five Small Children Dead After Aerial Attack on Civilian House in Chechnya
On April 8, 2003 around 3 p.m. a private household in the village Rigakh, Vedensky District of Chechnya was subjected to aerial attack. As a result of bombing we killed:
Maidat Tsitsaeva, born 1975, and 5 of her children:
Damaeva Dzhanati, born 1999
Damaeva Zhardat, born 2000
Damaev Umar Khazdi, born 2002
Damaeva Zara, born 2003
Damaeva Zura, born 2003
At the moment of the attack the father, Damaev Imar-Ali, born 1961, and the elder son Damaev Umar, born 1994 were not at home and survived.
Having heard the sound of bombing, Imar-Ali hurried home, but when he approached his house he found it in ruins, his wife and children were not around. Soon neighbors and relatives arrived and began to excavate the ruins. Mainat was sitting on her haunches clutching the four children. The fifth 9-month old girl was laying nearby in the cradle. All of them were dead. The corpses were buried right away.
The office of military commandant of Shatoy District was notified immediately. On Monday, April 12, Imar- Ali filed a complaint to the ROVD of Shatojsky District of Chechnya. The first officials arrived only at 11 am on the April, 13. They did not introduce themselves and said that according to their sources in guerilla fighters had been eliminated in the area.
The surroundings of the house were searched, however, the locals claim that the soldiers were nor careful in carrying out investigation. Imar-Ali insisted on exhumation being carried out, so that exact reason of his family’s death could be identified. However, the investigation group had no forensic expert with them; they promised to carry out the exhumation later. Damaev demands criminal case being opened, and criminal investigation be launched.
The bombing of the area continued. The last aerial attack was on April, 13 at about 10 am.
On April 11 and 12 special operations were carried out aimed at revealing fighters’ caches of weapons. Personnel of Chechen GRU, ORB, President Kadyrov’s security service and federal forces were involved.
On April, 13 the press-service of the Military Airborne Forces of Russia rejected the information about the aerial attack of Russian military planes on village Rigakhoi, which allergedly caused death of 6 civilians. The head of press service of Russian Military Aerial Forces Colonel Alexander Drobushevsky told ITAR TASS that “on Friday front bombarders in this region of Russia did not raise in the air”. “Information in some Russian and foreign media about it fully contradicts the reality”
(ITAR-TASS, April, 13)