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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Annals of Chechnya: The Violence Continues Apace

The International Herald Tribune reports:

A senior local official in Russia's restive Chechnya province was killed Wednesday in a bomb attack, police said, in the latest violence in a more than decade-long separatist conflict.

A bomb exploded in the morning as Mairbek Murdagamov, deputy head of the southern Vedeno district, was leaving his house, said the local branch of Russia's Interior Ministry.

The explosion ripped off Murdagamov's foot and he was hospitalized, dying a few hours later, the ministry's press service said.

Large-scale fighting has all but ended in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim province in southern Russia where a separatist conflict has persisted for more than 12 years, but small-scale attacks and hit-and-run ambushes on police and government officials persist.

The violence in Chechnya has spilled over into other regions of Russia's troubled North Caucasus, blamed on both criminal gangs and remaining groups of separatist rebels.

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