Soldiers who stormed a hijacked plane in Leningrad in March shot a passenger in the back and didn't take precautions to prevent injuring innocent people, a government newspaper reported.
Izvestia's article Monday represented a rare public criticism of the country's security forces and raised new questions about the bungled attempt to end the March 8 hijacking."Our forces are not prepared to act in extreme situations," said an article published Monday in the state-run daily Izvestia.
A family of 11 Siberian jazz musicians known as the Ovechkins hijacked a Tu-154 plane carrying 76 people on a flight from the Siberian city of Irkutsk to Leningrad. They demanded that the Aeroflot Soviet jetliner fly to London or Bonn, West Germany.
Ground controllers tricked the family into thinking the plane was landing in Finland, but it actually touched down at an airfield near Leningrad. A special anti-terrorist squad of soldiers stormed the plane after the Ovechkins set off a homemade bomb, starting a fire, Soviet press reports said.
The soldiers killed a stewardess and three passengers in the ambush, during which four of the Ovechkins committed suicide after killing their mother at her request, the official news agency Tass reported.
In the disorderly evacuation of passengers, some were forced to jump onto the tarmac and 35 people were injured, news reports said.