Abkhazia Tightens Security Measures After Man Blows Himself Up Near State TV Station

SOKHUMI, Abkhazia – Security measures have been tightened in Sokhumi, capital of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia since yesterday, after a man blew himself up at the state TV station at 07.05 am.

According to the de-facto authorities, no locals were injured during the blast. They qualified the blast as an attempted terrorist attack.

De-facto Interior Ministry of Abkhazia stated that an investigation with the participation of all Abkhazian law enforcement and security agencies was launched.

De-facto Abkhazia’s Presidential Spokesman Alkhas Gaguliya reported that “the President Raul Khadzhimba assessed the fact as an attempted terror attack.”

"The situation in Sukhum is calm at present and there is ground to panic," Gaguliya added.

Secretary of the Abkhazian Security Council Mukhamed Kilba said that the identity of the man was established and he was a resident of the Rostov Region of the Russian Federation.

Kilba said that the man arrived in Abkhazia on October 2 and terrorist act, which he tried to carry out, was aimed against a particular Abkhazian politician. However, the official did not specify the name of the politician.

"Measures are currently underway to establish the dead person’s possible contacts in the Rostov Region," the head of the Abkhazian Security Council said, adding that the bomb contained up to 200 grams of TNT.

Moreover, Kilba denied released information of the Caucasus Times, that the case is connected to the murder of Arseny Pavlov, also known as Motorola, an unruly commander of Russia-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, who was killed on October 16, in an elevator blast in separatist stronghold of Donetsk.

“The version that this case is connected to the murder of Motorola is not true. I have already said that the man, who blew himself up, is a citizen of Russia,” Kilba stressed.

Regional news agency, the Caucasus Times, stated today the unknown source from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia informed them that the man was identified as Sergey Torosenko from Ukraine, who had two accomplices and he was the member of Arseny Pavlov military group.

The agency also says that the explosive device apparently went off accidentally earlier than intended when a perpetrator was preparing to set it off.

“The man was alone and he had a radio, as well as maps where state agencies were marked, which presumably he was planning to undermine,” the article of the Caucasus Times reads.

Moreover, news agency Sputnik Abkhazia reports that former Interior Minister of Abkhazia, Raul Lolua told them the case might have links with the murder of Motorola.

“We know that some Abkhazians are also involved in the military operations on the territory of People's Republic of Donetsk. I was even informed that an Abkhazian man was killed with Motorola. Moreover, these forces want to show us that they can get anybody on the Abkhaz territory,” Lolua told Sputnik Abkhazia.

Meanwhile, Spuntik Abkhazia reports that the current Interior Minister of de-facto Abkhazia, Aslan Kobakhia denied the information that the man was Ukrainian.

Kobakhia asked the media to trust only official information and wait for the investigation results.

According to official information, the man who blew himself up near Abkhazia’s State TV Station, was aged between 35 and 40.

Photo: A man who blew himself up at near Abkhazia’s State TV Station, was aged between 35 and 40.

Source: sputnik-abkhazia.ru

By Thea Morrison

18 October 2016 23:18