Bloodbath end to Russian holiday

image captionEmergency services found 12 dead bodies when they arrived at the burning house

Shocking details have emerged in the Russian media of the attack on a house in southern Russia which left a farmer and 11 of his relatives and friends brutally murdered.

It was 4 November, a public holiday in Russia, and Serever Ametov had guests to stay in his comfortable, two-storey house in the village of Kushchevskaya, in the Krasnodar Territory.

Irina Mironenko, sister of Ametov's wife Galina, had come to visit from Rostov-on-Don with her businessman husband Vladimir Mironenko and their daughters Irina and Alyona, aged five and one.

Even younger than Alyona was Ametov's own grand-daughter Amira, just nine months old. He carried her about in his arms.

Another guest was Ametov's neighbour from Kushchevskaya, Natalya Kasyanova, whose teenage son Pavel was out for the evening.

When Pavel got home, he found the house locked and learnt that his mother was over at the Ametovs'.

He did not have his own keys so went over to fetch his mother's set, and wandered into a bloodbath.

Waiting for nightfall

According to Russian media quoting investigators, the killers arrived by car and waited for nightfall in an abandoned house not far from the Ametov property.

Taking a canister of petrol with them, they crept up to the house through gardens, and knocked out the Ametovs' guard dog with a tranquiliser.

Once in the house, it seems they first killed Irina Mironenko and Yelena Ametova, Ametov's 19-year-old daughter-in-law.

The two women had been resting along with Marina's daughters on a sofa out in the hall.

Neither of the little girls survived, but it appears that one of them was strangled while the other choked on smoke from fires the killers started before they left.

Alerted to the noise, Ametov left his guests at the festive dinner table to see what was happening, and was killed along with Baby Amira, who was in his arms.

The murderers then went into the dining-room where they stabbed to death Mr Mironenko, Pavel's mother and Ametov's wife Galina. Lidia and Viktor Ignatenko, the parents of Galina and Marina, were also killed.

When Pavel arrived and tried to escape, they shot him with a traumatic pistol, then stabbed him to death too.

The killers started several fires around the house before fleeing. It appears they took no items of value with them.

"Everything points to the victims having known their killers well because they did not run about, they did not try to escape or defend themselves," a source linked to the investigation told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

'Hard-working farmer'

The Ametovs are survived by their son Dzhalil, who was married to Yelena and had worked the farm along with his father, and their married daughter Lila, who was the first to discover the carnage inside the house.

Dzhalil, who was supervising the farm on the night of the killings, had reportedly grown anxious when nobody answered his phone calls, and had called Lila to go to the house and investigate.

A source close to the bereaved family described the murdered farmer for the newspaper: "He lived within his means and worked from dawn to dusk.

"He did not buy expensive foreign cars or take holidays in expensive resorts, but tried to provide for his family... He was a good, hardworking man.

"It's a pity about him and his family and especially the little kids, who were completely innocent."

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