New York, May 10, 2004—Adlan Khasanov, a cameraman working for the British news agency Reuters, was killed by a bomb yesterday morning in Russia’s southern republic of Chechnya, according to local and international press reports.
The powerful bomb exploded at approximately 10:35 a.m. in the Dynamo Stadium in the Chechen capital of Grozny, where Khasanov was covering the annual Victory Day parade, which celebrates the Soviet Union’s 1945 victory over Nazi Germany.
The 33-year-old cameraman sustained serious head injuries from the blast and was taken to a local hospital, Reuters reported. One of Khasanov’s three brothers told Reuters yesterday that the cameraman’s body had been returned to his family and would be buried in Grozny on Monday.
The bomb planted in the stadium killed at least six people, including Chechnya’s pro-Moscow president, Akhmad Kadyrov. The bomb was placed in a concrete pillar under the VIP section of the stadium, suggesting that Kadyrov and other senior Chechen and Russian officials were targeted.
Late Sunday afternoon, Chechen police detained five suspects in Grozny allegedly linked to the blast, according to local press reports.
“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of our colleague,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “Adlan Khasanov’s death highlights the grave risks that journalists continue face in covering the conflict in Chechnya, and our condolences go out to his family, colleagues, and friends.”
Khasanov had worked as a cameraman and photographer for the Moscow bureau of Reuters since the 1990s.
He covered the second Chechen war—launched by Russian forces in late 1999—and at times spent days trekking through the mountains into neighboring Georgia to deliver video footage to Reuters, according to Reuters.