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Daily Archives: June 23, 2009

Ingush leader wounded in assassination bid

An assassination bid badly wounded the leader of Russia's Ingushetia region yesterday and killed three others, officials said, in the latest blow to Kremlin hopes for restoring stability in the Caucasus.
"An attempt was carried out on the life of president [Yunus-Bek] Yevkurov. He is currently in a serious condition," a spokesman for the president told AFP, adding the attack took place at around 8:30 am (0430 GMT).
A roadside massive blast by explosives with the force of 200 kilogrammes of TNT hit the Ingush leader's convoy as it travelled past, the ITAR-TASS and Interfax news agencies reported.
News agencies said that at least three people were killed in the attack, including several bodyguards and, according to some reports, the president's younger brother Uvais. At least three people were wounded.
All the security forces in the region have been put on high alert, news agencies said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev condemned the attack as an "act of terror," according to news agencies.
ITAR-TASS said Yevkurov had been hospitalised in a "very serious condition" at a hospital in Nazran and a team of doctors was being flown out to the mountainous Caucasus region from Moscow.
 News agencies said local prime minister Rashid Gaisanov would be taking over Yevkurov's duties in the interim.
Yevkurov, who has won Russia's highest military award, earned renown as a commander in the 1999 Kosovo war when he led his paratroops on a 300 kilometre march to occupy its airport ahead of NATO forces.
President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Yevkurov as Ingush president in October after sacking his deeply unpopular predecessor Murat Zyazikov for failing to stem endemic corruption, unemployment and violence.
A predominantly Muslim region that shares close cultural and linguistic ties with Chechnya, Ingushetia has over the last years been fighting an Islamist insurgency that has cost the lives of scores of security personnel.
The attack comes after Moscow this year ended a 10-year "counter-terrorist" operation in Chechnya – battered by two separatist wars after the fall of Communism – saying stability had returned to the region.


Flu tolls leaps past 52,000, 231 dead

 Swine flu has infected more than 52,000 people in 100 countries and territories and killed 231 people since late March, the World Health Organisation reported yesterday, a sharp rise in the toll.
There have been an extra 7,873 cases and 51 more deaths since the last toll released by the UN health agency on Friday.
The United States led a group of countries that have seen dramatic increases in cases of the A(H1N1) virus.
There were an extra 3,594 cases to a total of 21,449, 87 deaths, in the United States, 1,190 more cases in Chile (4,315), where there have been four deaths and 805 extra cases in Canada, with 5,710 infections, including 13 deaths.
Britain remains the worst-hit country in Europe. It has recorded 754 extra cases taking its total to 2,506, including one death.
In Australia there are 237 extra cases at 2,436, with one death. In Japan there are 160 more cases at 850.