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Media: Chechen man arrested by Russian authorities after Moscow terrorist attack allegedly dies in custody

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 2, 2024 10:36 AM 2 min read
A Russian law enforcement officer patrols near the Crocus City Hall concert hall outside Moscow, Russia, on March 23, 2024, after the terrorist attack that killed at least 144 people. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
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Askhab Uspanov, a native of the Russian republic of Chechnya, reportedly died while in police custody after being arrested in connection with the Moscow terrorist attack, the independent Russian news agency Agentsvo wrote on April 1, citing Uspanov's mother.

Agenstvo cited a Chechen Telegram channel unaffiliated with the regime of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov that shared videos of what appeared to be Uspanov's dead body lying in a morgue, showing lacerations on his neck and other signs of apparent abuse. The channel claimed that Uspanov was arrested on March 22 and was reported as dead a few hours later.

Several gunmen opened fire at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a suburb of Moscow, on the evening of March 22, killing at least 144 people. A branch of the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack shortly thereafter.

Russian authorities are currently holding eight people in pre-trial detention in connection with the terrorist attack, seven of whom are from Tajikistan. An eighth suspect from Kyrgyzstan was brought into court in Russia on March 26.

Four of those detained are Tajik men accused of personally carrying out the attack. They appeared in court showing clear signs of abuse, following videos and pictures that were widely circulated on Russian social media depicting their alleged torture at the hands of Russian authorities.

Xenophobic incidents were reported en masse after the attack, as were cases of Central Asians leaving Russia over fears of potential reprisals and increased racism.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on April 1 that it had arrested four alleged accomplices of the terrorist attack in Dagestan, a southern republic of Russia neighboring Chechnya.

The FSB said that the individuals were supposedly plotting another attack in the Dagestani city of Kaspiysk.

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