11:41 17.07.2014

Two groups attempting to kill Avakov detained – Interior Ministry

The leader of a group of militants holding Horlivka (Donetsk region), Russian citizen Igor Bezler ("Bes"), ordered the attempted murder of Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the minister's adviser, Zorian Shkiriak, has said.

"On July 7-9, while in the ATO area, Russian terrorists were preparing an attempt to kill the head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The customer and organizer of this crime was directly the saboteur Igor Bezler," Shkiriak said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

Shkiriak said that during the arrest, the leader of a subversive group that was involved in the preparation of this crime had offered resistance and had been killed.

He said that other members of the sabotage and intelligence group "were captured and are under investigation." Shkiriak also added that the second sabotage and intelligence group was detained by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine.

However, he did not mention the exact number of those detained, saying only that these were "two groups of several people."

Shkiriak said that the crime was aimed at "destabilizing the legal system."

Earlier, Ukrainian media reported that there had been an attempt on Avakov's life in the area of the anti-terrorist operation but that the interior minister had not been injured.

Yes, we can confirm the information that the assault took place. But for now we cannot disclose whether there were any arrests and other details," the ministry's spokeswoman, Larysa Volkova, told Interfax-Ukraine adding that more details will be announced at a briefing on July 17.

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