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Traveller From Tajikistan Shoots Two People Dead at Moldova Airport

A 43-year-old Tajik man has grabbed a gun, shot dead two security officers, and wounded a civilian at Moldova’s main international airport after being denied entry to the country, according to police.

Key points:

  • All passengers were evacuated from the airport
  • Moldova’s president sent condolences to the families of the victims 
  • A criminal investigation is being launched by the Prosecutor-General’s Office

The suspected assailant was himself wounded and apprehended, police said, in an incident that briefly grounded flights at Chisinau International Airport.

Moldova’s acting chief prosecutor, Ion Munteanu, said the shooting was being examined as a terrorist act. Investigators were not ruling out that other people were involved, but there was no evidence he was linked to any armed group.

The suspect was being escorted by officials at Chisinau International Airport when he “took the gun of a border guard” and opened fire, authorities said.

The individual was then apprehended and handcuffed by special forces who intervened, while all passengers were evacuated from the airport.

Mr Munteanu said the gunman held a passport from Tajikistan, and had arrived in Chisinau from Istanbul.

He had become agitated when asked to outline his reasons for coming to Moldova. The shooting broke out as he was being taken to an airport area for a return flight to Istanbul.

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu said the two people killed were a border police officer and an airport security employee.

“We send our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and relatives. The loss of loved ones is a great pain for the families,” Ms Sandu wrote in a statement on Facebook.

“It’s a sad day for all of us.”

State institutions have been put on high alert, Ms Sandu said, adding that “police and law enforcement agencies are mobilised throughout the Republic of Moldova” in response to the incident.

Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a separate statement that the victims “lost their lives while performing their duties” and that authorities “took care to protect the civilians who were in the danger zone”.

“The aggressor will be held accountable by law enforcement agencies that opened a criminal investigation file on the case,” the ministry said, adding that an investigation was being launched by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Source: ABC News