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Anger at death of Kremlin critic

Magomed Yevloyev (photo from Russian news website lenta.ru)
Yevloyev's website is said to be one of the most visited for Ingush news

Opposition leaders in Russia's volatile Ingushetia region have condemned the killing of the owner of a website critical of the Kremlin.

Magomed Yevloyev was arrested and later shot after getting off the same flight as the local, Kremlin-backed leader.

Russian prosecutors say they have opened a criminal investigation into the case.

But opposition leaders say the killing is part of Russia's policy of "open genocide" towards the Ingush people.

"The policy of double standards, which is pursued by the Russian leadership, and the open genocide of the Ingush people make us take cardinal decisions," they said comments published on Mr Yevloyev's website, Ingushetiya.ru.

Protest plea

Opposition leaders said such actions increased the backing for those seeking secession from Russia.

A posting on the site urged "all those who are not indifferent" to his killing to gather for a demonstration in the regional capital, Nazran.

Ingushetia map
According to a lawyer close to the website, Mr Yevloyev was detained by police after landing at Nazran airport late on Sunday. They took him away in a car, Reuters reports.

"As they drove he was shot in the temple... They threw him out of the car near the hospital," Kaloi Akhilgov said.

The website owner was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Thorn in the side

Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the death.

"A preliminary investigation is being carried out into the incident as a result of which Yevloyev was killed," Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the investigations unit of the prosecutor general's office in Moscow told Reuters.

Mr Markin said police had tried to bring Mr Yevloyev in for questioning but that an incident occurred in which he received a gunshot wound that led to his death.

Local police reports said Mr Yevloyev had tried to seize a policeman's gun when he was being led to a vehicle. A shot was fired and Mr Yevloyev was injured in the head.

Mr Yevloyev was a thorn in the side of Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, a former KGB general.

His website reported on alleged Russian security force brutality in Ingushetia, an impoverished province of some half a million people, mostly Muslims, which is now more turbulent than neighbouring Chechnya.

There is a low-level insurgency, with regular small-scale ambushes against police and soldiers.

In the latest incident in the region, on Monday, two policemen were killed and one was wounded in an ambush at a police station in the village of Achaluki, Interfax reports.




SEE ALSO
Regions and territories: Ingushetia
12 Mar 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Russia
28 Aug 08 |  Country profiles

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