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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

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Akhmed Kotiyev, the head of Ingushetia's Security Council, has been killed.



MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- Officials say a top regional security official has been shot dead in the troubled Russian republic of Ingushetia in an attack that the local leadership linked to his efforts to end violence.

Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement that Akhmed Kotiev, the head of Ingushetia's Security Council, was killed Tuesday, August 27, after gunmen attacked the car he was traveling in near the village of Nizhnie Achalukin. His driver died on the spot while Kotiyev passed away in hospital.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but the head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said he was convinced that Kotiev was killed because of his attempts to halt the Islamic-influenced attacks in the region.

Yevkurov told Russian media that Kotiev had been "very successful" in what he said was "calling on the bandits to put down their arms and return to a normal life." He added that finding the killers would be "a matter of honor."

ISLAMIC INSURGENCY

Analysts say the assassination was the latest attack in an ongoing Islamic insurgency. Ingushetia borders Chechnya, where separatists have fought two wars with Russia over the past two decades.

Chechnya's violence has spread across the Russian North Caucasus in recent years, including to mainly-Muslim Ingushetia and Dagestan.

Hundreds of people, many of them members of the government and security services, have earlier been killed in ongoing attacks, despite the Kremlin's pledges to restore peace and stability in the volatile area.

(BosNewsLife's NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments from especially, but not limited to, (former) Communist countries and other autocratic states impacting the Church and/or other compassionate professionals).

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