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Russia's Ingush Republic President Wounded in Bombing


The head of Russia's troubled Ingushetia region was critically wounded in an assassination attempt Monday. President Yunus Bek Yevkurov survived but at least one other person was killed and several others wounded.

Authorities said Ingush President Yevkurov was traveling to work Monday morning near the republic's largest city, Nazran, when the roadside bomb exploded.

Officials said Mr. Yevkurov was hospitalized in serious condition but that his life is not in immediate danger. Russia's Itar-Tass news agency said he underwent successful surgery and was to be airlifted to Moscow for further treatment.

The news topped Russia's English language television station channel.

"President Yevkurov is the third top official to be wounded or killed in the volatile region bordering Chechnya in the past three weeks. He is the fourth in Russia's turbulent North Caucasus region this month," read the announcer.

Mr. Yevkurov is backed by the Kremlin and was appointed to the post in October after Moscow forced out the region's longtime leader, Murat Zyazikov. The Kremlin blames Mr. Zyazikov for letting violence escalate in the region

Mr. Yevkurov spoke about how important it is to curb corruption, which is seen as playing a key role in the violence.

Mr. Yevkurov said that he will curb corruption and violence in the region and that his government will be able to do so with the help of the Kremlin.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that Mr. Yevkurov has done a lot to curb disorder and bring peace to the region.

Suicide bombings have been rare in Russia in the past few years. The last attack was in May. Four police officers were killed in the Chechen capital of Grozny when someone detonated explosives outside police headquarters.

President Medvedev met with top security officials after this morning's blast. He linked the attack to federal and local officials massive efforts to calm the violence in Ingushetia.

Ingushetia has proven to be a challenge for the Kremlin and has overtaken its neighbor, Chechnya, as the new center of violence along Russia's southern flank. Much of the violence there is linked to two separatist wars that ravaged Chechnya over the past 15 years.
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