Chechen warlord may be behind Parliament attack

Khusein Gakayev seeks to assert supremacy over divided rebels, say experts.

Gronzy: A suicide attack on Chechnya`s Parliament may have been staged by a shadowy warlord who wants to establish himself as a leader of the Russian region`s factionalised Islamist insurgency, officials and analysts said on Wednesday.

Some observers said they believe there could be an escalation of violence as 40-year-old Khusein Gakayev moves to assert his supremacy over the divided rebels.

In the attack, "the goal here is to demonstrate Gakayev`s authority”, said Yulia Latynina, a Moscow-based columnist and Caucasus expert.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday`s attack by three suicide attackers, who got inside the tightly guarded Parliament complex in the capital, Grozny, as legislators gathered for a session.

The attackers opened fire and blew themselves up, killing two police officers and a parliamentary aide and wounded 17 other people.

Chechnya`s Interior Ministry branch told the ITAR-Tass news agency that it believed the attack was planned by Gakayev to boost his credentials among other rebels and their supporters abroad. It did not offer evidence.