Page last updated at 21:13 GMT, Thursday, 23 August 2007 22:13 UK

Russian soldier killed in attack

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Moscow

Map of Ingushetia and area

A Russian soldier has been killed and several wounded in an attack on an armoured column in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia.

It is the latest in a string of attacks on police and troops in the southern Muslim republic that borders Chechnya.

The troops came under heavy machine gun fire and grenade attack.

Earlier this month Moscow ordered 2,500 troops into Ingushetia to try to quell the growing violence there, after a spate of attacks.

They include the assassination of the Ingush presidential guard, the killing of an ethnic Russian family and a rumoured assassination attempt on the president of the Ingush republic.

At the moment it is unclear whether the attacks are home grown or are being carried out by rebel bands from the neighbouring republic of Chechnya.

Since the early 1990s Russia has fought two extremely bloody wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya.

On both occasions Ingushetia stayed on the sidelines but the end of the second Chechen war has not brought peace to the region.

Across the north Caucasus violent attacks against police and soldiers are now a weekly occurrence.

Chechen rebel chief Basayev dies
10 Jul 06 |  Europe
Ingushetia mourns rebels' victims
23 Jun 04 |  Europe
North Caucasus: At a glance
29 Mar 10 |  Europe
Regions and territories: Ingushetia
12 Jun 07 |  Country profiles
Russians hunt southern attackers
22 Jun 04 |  Europe

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