Attack wounds Ingush prez

Assassination bid on the Russian leader a fresh blow to Kremlin rule

The damaged car of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is seen. REUTERS

A suicide bomber detonated explosives as Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s convoy drove past on the way to work at about 8:30 am local time, the regional prosecutor said in a statement.

Yevkurov’s driver was killed and three others wounded by the blast which wrecked the armoured Mercedes and gouged a 2-metre crater in the road, a witness said.

Yevkurov, 45, was rushed to hospital in Nazran, the largest city, where he underwent immediate surgery. A doctor said he was on artificial respiration, but a presidential aide said he was conscious and his life was “not yet” in danger.

Ingushetia has overtaken its neighbour Chechnya as the main centre of violence along Russia’s southern flank, challenging the Kremlin’s fragile rule and, security forces say, providing a foothold for global networks of Islamist militants.

“The crime was carried out by members of illegal armed groups to destabilise the situation in the republic,” Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Prosecutor-General’s main investigative unit, was quoted as saying by local news agencies.

The explosion ripped roof tiles off a nearby house and dislodged bricks from walls.

Television pictures showed a burnt-out wreck of a car in a ditch at the side of the road.

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