Senior security official shot dead in Russia's North Caucasus

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 27, 2013 4:16 AM
Senior security official shot dead in Russia's North Caucasus

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A security official was killed by unidentified gunmen in Russia's Ingushetia republic, local police said on Tuesday, the latest violence in a region plagued by an Islamist insurgency and near the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

President Vladimir Putin has launched a huge security operation in regions surrounding the Black Sea resort of Sochi to stop any insurgent attacks on next year's Winter Olympics, but the North Caucasus region suffers almost daily violence.

Ahmed Kotiyev, head of the regional Security Council which advises on security and defense matters, and his driver were shot dead by gunmen who sprayed their car with bullets on a highway 30 km (19 miles) north of the major city of Nazran.

The shooting follows a botched assassination attempt against Kotiyev, who helped militants abandon the insurgency, in June when assailants fired a grenade launcher on his house.

Pictures, posted on the local police website, showed Kotiyev's car, a Russian-made Lada, peppered with bullet holes.

Ingushestia's head, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who himself survived an assassination attempt in 2009, said on his website it was an "affair of honor" to find who killed Kotiyev.

Ingushetia, a region west of Chechnya, is part of an area where militants wage almost daily violence to try to establish an Islamist state in the patchwork of mostly Muslim regions in the Caucasus mountains between the Caspian and Black seas.

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk, editing by Elizabeth Piper)