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Home ยป Moldova Attack: Two Dead As Man Opens Fire Inside Chisinau Airport

Moldova Attack: Two Dead As Man Opens Fire Inside Chisinau Airport

Image source, Alamy

Image caption, Chisinau International Airport is the largest and main airport in Moldova

By Sarah Rainsford

Eastern Europe correspondent

Two people have been killed after a man opened fire at Chisinau International Airport, the Moldovan Interior Ministry has said.

The gunman was wounded and has been detained, said police.

Officials said the shooting had taken place after a foreign citizen was denied entry to the country.

President Maia Sandu said the two dead were a border guard and an airport security official; a third person was wounded.

Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean said the suspect was a 43-year-old Tajikistan national.

He had arrived from Turkey and was then refused entry, government press secretary Daniel Voda told Moldovan TV.

While being taken to a special area at the airport, the man seized a gun from a border police officer and killed two people, Mr Voda explained.

Videos from the scene showed passengers outside the airport on the grass, as the building was evacuated.

Flights in and out of Chisinau airport, which is the country’s largest, have been grounded.

Moldova has been on alert for months after President Sandu accused Russia of plotting to use foreign “saboteurs” to overthrow her pro-European Union government.

Her warning in February came after 12 Serbian football fans were barred from entering the country through Chisinau airport. A group of boxers from Montenegro were also stopped at the airport and returned home.

The Kremlin denied allegations of a plot, which Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said had been intercepted by Kyiv.

Moldova has a population of 2.6 million people and became a candidate for EU membership last summer.

It has been heavily exposed to the war in neighbouring Ukraine and faces tensions with its pro-Moscow breakaway region of Transnistria, where some 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed.

President Sandu issued a statement on Friday offering condolences to the families of those killed, calling it “a sad day for all of us”.

She said state security forces were on high alert across the country.

Mr Voda added: “All measures have been taken to bring the situation back to normal. Law enforcers will continue to ensure security and public order at the airport.”