02 December 2013, 17:24
Reward pledged in Tatarstan for info on church arsonists
Kazan, December 2, Interfax - Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov has expressed concern about the recent series of arsons of Orthodox churches and attempts to stage terror attacks in some regions, the presidential press service reported.
Minnikhanov told government officials on Sunday that he would personally control the inquiry which is also being overseen by the public.
A 1 million-ruble reward will be given to person who will provide information essential for tracking down the arsonists. Providers of information about the attempted terror attacks in the Alexeyevsky District and in Nizhnekamsk on November 17 2013 will get 1 million-ruble rewards, as well. A criminal inquiry was started on counts of plotting terror attacks after two improvised bombs were discovered in these localities.
Reports said earlier that unidentified arsonists attempted to set an unfinished Orthodox church on fire in Chistopol. The St. Demetrius of Solun prayer house was set on fire in the village of Lenino in the neighboring Novosheshminsky District on the same day.
A church was torched in the Mamadyshky District on November 28 and an abandoned church went ablaze in the village of Kreshchyoniye Kazyli in the neighboring Rybnoslobodsky District on November 29. Both churches belonged to the Christian Tatars' communities. The probe into the November 29 arson is continuing.
The first three arsons are being investigated on charges of vandalism, arson and abuses of freedom of conscience and religion. But prosecutors insist they also be probed on charges of terrorism.
Eight religious buildings went ablaze in Tatarstan in 2013 (seven Orthodox churches and one mosque) and none in 2012.
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