Authorities say a gunman fired several shots at the airport in Chisinau, Moldova, killing two people, according to the Interior Ministry. Two people were killed on duty while performing their duties, the ministry said. The suspect was arrested and the Attorney General's Office took over the investigation. The man is said to have been prevented from entering the country by border guards, as reported by the agora.md portal. According to unconfirmed media reports, he snatched the pistol from an officer during the check and then fired shots.
A border guard policeman and an employee of the security service of the international airport were killed, according to official information. One passenger was injured, it said. In initially unconfirmed reports, there had also been talk of a hostage-taking. The airport building had been evacuated. There were delays in air traffic.
Prime Minister Dorin Recean announced that a 43-year-old man with citizenship of the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan had been arrested. He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
Important transport hub and transit point
Moldovan media had previously reported that the alleged perpetrator was Russian. The man had therefore landed on a plane from Turkey. Located between EU member Romania and Ukraine, the former Soviet Republic of Moldova is a popular travel destination for Russians and an important transport hub and transit point. Hundreds of Russian citizens land there every day, most of whom are taken aside at passport control and asked again separately about the reason for their entry.
The situation in Moldova is politically tense because of Russian attempts to exert influence there. In addition, the Moldovan security forces want to prevent Russian fighters from secretly entering the country in order to destabilize the situation in the small and completely impoverished country. That's why the authorities check Russians in particular, although they also make up an ethnic minority there. Russia has also stationed soldiers in the Moscow-loyal Transnistria region, which is a breakaway from Moldova.