First Published: 2017-08-19

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city
Incident on Saturday morning in city of Surgut as knifeman "carried out attacks on passers-by, causing stab wounds" and wounding seven people.
Middle East Online

Police officers stand by body of attacker in the Siberian city of Surgut.

MOSCOW - The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for an attack by a knifeman in Russia's far north who wounded seven people on Saturday before he was shot dead, its propaganda agency said.

"The executor of the stabbing operation in the city of Surgut in Russia is a soldier of the Islamic State," Amaq said in a statement, after the group had also claimed responsibility for attacks in Spain on Thursday that left 14 dead.

There was no immediate Russian comment and it was unclear if the IS claim was opportunistic. Russian investigators had earlier said that the attacker's motive was most likely not terrorism.

The incident took place on Saturday morning in the city of Surgut, where the man "carried out attacks on passers-by, causing stab wounds", said Russia's Investigative Committee which probes major crimes.

It said armed police called to the scene had "liquidated" the attacker.

Regional officials said seven people were taken to hospital and on Saturday afternoon, four remained in a serious condition while one was stable and two were discharged.

The regional interior ministry told Interfax news agency that the theory that the incident was "a terrorist (attack) is not the main one."

The Investigative Committee said it had established the man's identity, saying he was a local resident born in 1994, and that they were looking into "his possible psychiatric disorders."

Investigators opened a criminal probe into attempted murder and Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin has taken the incident under his personal control.

Russian television said the victims were aged between 27 and 77 and include two women.

- Busy area -

Regional police said officers fired warning shots at the scene before firing at the suspect who was wearing a balaclava.

YouTube footage shown on Russia's Ren TV television showed a black-clad man lying on a pedestrian walkway with a policeman kneeling on his back as sirens wailed.

Channel 5 showed video footage of a sniffer dog being deployed to check the body and a photograph of a young man bleeding heavily slumped over a bench.

State news agency TASS said the city's largest shopping centre was evacuated after the stabbings, citing its director, and police posted a video of the attack site, showing it to be an area busy with traffic and blocks of flats.

The city lies some 2,100 kilometres (1,330 miles) northeast of Moscow in the oil-rich Khanty-Mansi region.

The region's governor was flying out to the city to hold a meeting with investigators, authorities said.

And the regional government moved to curb panic in the city, insisting the situation was "under control" and calling for calm.

It also urged both residents and the media to "use reliable information in assessing the situation until all the circumstances are established."

Writing on Twitter, opposition leader Alexei Navalny questioned the authorities' treatment of the incident.

"Someone runs round with a knife and tries to kill as many people as possible. What is that, if not a terrorist attack?"

 

Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt