Top Ingush official shot dead during visit to Moscow

A  Russian official heading the anti-extremism centre in Ingushetia in North Caucasus region was shot dead during a private visit to Moscow on Saturday, local reports say.

Ibragim Eldzharkiyev, above, (Photo credit: Official website) and another man, said to be his brother, Abdulakhmed, were shot near a building in Academician Anokhin Street west of Moscow.

It was a contract killing, TASS said citing a source in law enforcement agencies. The killer was aware of Eldzharkiyev’s movements and he knew the official was in Moscow on a private visit, the source said without elaborating on the individual or group behind the contract killing.

Insurgency in neighbouring Chechnya often spills into Ingushetia although violence has abated over the years.

Eldzharkiyev survived an assassination attempt early this year as he was travelling by car from Chechnya to Ingushetia. Three policemen, who were with him, received serious gunshot injuries.

Eldzharkiyev became chief of the anti-extremism centre last year after his predecessor Timur Khamkhoyev was jailed for seven years for torturing some detainees.

Ingushetia, one of the poorest and most unstable regions of Russia, has seen resignations of presidents amid protests over rise in corruption, terrorist attacks and murders of civilians and officers.  

The latest to step down was Yunus-bek Evkurov in June this year after being in power for more than a decade.

He took office in the fall of 2008 with a promise to tackle crime and rode a sympathy wave after surviving a suicide car bomb attack in 2009 in which his driver and bodyguard were killed. He then got a second term but killings and abductions continued and his border deal favouring Chechnya upset Ingush public.