Gunmen kill top Ingushetia official

AFP-JIJI

Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday assassinated the top regional security official in Russia’s violence-plagued Caucasus republic of Ingushetia as he was being driven to work, investigators said.

Akhmed Kotiev, head of Ingushetia’s Security Council, was killed when gunmen opened fire on his car in an attack that also claimed the life of his driver, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The attack took place at around 7:30 a.m. close to the village of Nizhnie Achaluki in Ingushetia, the statement said.

“All possible theories are being looked at but priority is being given to his professional activities,” the statement said.

Like other largely Muslim regions of Russia’s Northern Caucasus, the pro-Kremlin authorities in Ingushetia have been fighting an Islamist-tinged insurgency that claims dozens of lives every year.

Analysts have long suggested the insurgency is not only fueled by the growing popularity of Islamic fundamentalism but also rampant unemployment, which encourages young adults to turn towards extremism.