August 25, 2005

Chechens fail to assassinate local Russian official

Blasts hit Russian region, local leader wounded:

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A top local Russian official survived an assassination attempt that killed his bodyguard near the border with rebel Chechnya on Thursday, a week before the anniversary of the Beslan school siege.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Malsagov, 44, was injured in the leg by a blast in the center of Nazran, the key town in Ingushetia in southern Russia, a spokesman for the republic's emergencies service said.

The blast took place as Malsagov, an Ingush, returned to work after having lunch at home, state television said. Malsagov and three others were rushed to hospital, where the premier's bodyguard died.

Malsagov's wounds were not life-threatening, local officials said. There was an earlier, smaller explosion intended to divert the attention of security forces, the Interfax news agency reported.

Police gave no indication as to who may have been behind the blasts, the second such incident in four days. On Monday, one person was killed and another two injured when a bomb went off near Nazran's main hospital.

Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, himself the target of a failed assassination attempt last year, said the attack was an attempt to destabilize the region and the whole of the North Caucasus, Interfax reported.

Posted by Kyer at August 25, 2005 12:55 PM | TrackBack