Saturday 1 October 2016

Nanny beheaded child in horror attack to 'avenge Muslims killed in Syria'

Gulchekhra Bobokulova 'a deranged woman', says Kremlin

Published 03/03/2016 | 10:40

Gulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, looks on inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Gulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, looks on inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, looks on inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. Russian police wrestled to the ground a woman in a hijab brandishing the severed head of a child outside a Moscow metro station on February 29, 2016 and charged her with murder, in an incident that stirred fears of an Islamist terrorist attack
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, yawns inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. Russian police wrestled to the ground a woman in a hijab brandishing the severed head of a child outside a Moscow metro station on February 29, 2016 and charged her with murder, in an incident that stirred fears of an Islamist terrorist attack
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, sits inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. Russian police wrestled to the ground a woman in a hijab brandishing the severed head of a child outside a Moscow metro station on February 29, 2016 and charged her with murder, in an incident that stirred fears of an Islamist terrorist attack
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of murdering a child in her care, sits inside a defendants' cage as she attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2016. Russian police wrestled to the ground a woman in a hijab brandishing the severed head of a child outside a Moscow metro station on February 29, 2016 and charged her with murder, in an incident that stirred fears of an Islamist terrorist attack
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova - a mum of three - showed officers the Moscow flat where she reportedly strangled Nastya Meshcheryakova, before beheading her with a kitchen knife
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova - a mum of three - showed officers the Moscow flat where she reportedly strangled Nastya Meshcheryakova, before beheading her with a kitchen knife
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova - a mum of three - showed officers the Moscow flat where she reportedly strangled Nastya Meshcheryakova, before beheading her with a kitchen knife
A police officer (R) prepares to detain a woman, suspected of murdering a young child, near Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2016, in this still image taken from video
A police detain a woman, suspected of murdering a young child, near Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2016, in this still image taken from video
Police and the Investigative Committee cars secure an area abound a subway station in Moscow on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. Russian news agencies report that police have arrested a woman who was waving the severed head of a small child outside a Moscow subway station
Russian police officers secure an area near to a subway station in Moscow on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. Russian news agencies report that police have arrested a woman who was waving the severed head of a small child outside a Moscow subway station. The Investigative Committee released a statement saying a woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing a child aged 3 or 4 in an apartment near the metro station in northwestern Moscow and then setting the apartment on fire
A Russian police officer stands at the site where a woman suspected of murdering a young child was detained, near Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2016. Russian investigators said on Monday they had arrested a nanny and charged her with murdering a young child in her care after local media broadcast footage of a woman brandishing a severed head near a busy Moscow metro station. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A woman who brandished the severed head of a four-year-old girl in her care outside a Moscow metro station has said she beheaded the child to avenge Muslims killed in the Kremlin's campaign of air strikes in Syria.

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In video posted online on Thursday and circulated by several prominent bloggers, 38-year-old Gulchekhra Bobokulova from Muslim-majority Uzbekistan gave her first detailed explanation of an incident that state TV channels chose not to report.

"I took revenge against those who spilled blood," Bobokulova told someone asking her questions off camera. "Putin spilled blood, planes carried out bombings. Why are Muslims being killed? They also want to live."

She also said she had wanted to go to live in Syria but did not have the money to do so. It was not clear when the video was filmed, but Bobokulova wore the same clothes as when she appeared in court on Wednesday.

A Kremlin spokesman said her remarks should be regarded as those of someone who is mentally unwell.

"You need to regard anything that such a deranged woman says accordingly," Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman, told reporters.

The Kremlin launched its campaign of air strikes in Syria on Sept. 30 in support of President Bashar al-Assad, an intervention that altered the course of the conflict there.

Islamic State said it downed a Russian passenger plane above Egypt on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board, in revenge for Russia's Syria campaign.

Bobokulova, who was working as a nanny for a Moscow family, wandered around a street holding up the girl's head and shouting Islamist slogans.

One witness said he heard her screaming about the murder of children in Syria.

A police source told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday the details of two men linked to an "international extremist group" had been found among her contacts.

However, publicly, investigators were quick to raise the possibility that Bobokulova was mentally ill and have made no mention of suspecting her of any terrorism-related offence.

Russian investigators played down her words on Thursday, suggesting in a statement that she was schizophrenic and that the motive offered by people suffering from the condition often differed from the real reason they had acted.

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