Unidentified gunmen yesterday assassinated the top regional security official in Russia’s violence-plagued Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia as he was being driven to work, investigators said.
Akhmed Kotiev, head of Ingushetia’s Security Council, was killed when gunmen opened fire on his car in an attack that also claimed the life of his driver, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The attack took place at about 7:30am close to the village of Nizhnie Achaluki, the statement said.
“All possible theories are being looked at but priority is being given to his professional activities,” the statement added.
The head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov swiftly condemned the attack which he said was related to Kotiev’s work to end the violent insurgency against security forces in the region.
He said Kotiev had been particularly active in seeking to encourage members of the Islamist underground to return to a normal life, a relatively novel tactic by the authorities who have long only used strongarm tactics against militants.
“In the last years Akhmed had very successfully worked on this,” Yevkurov told RIA Novosti. “He always spoke his mind and was not scared of openly talking to relatives of the underground members, calling on the bandits to put down their arms and return to a normal life.”
“To find those who did this will be a matter of honor,” he added.
Like other largely Muslim regions of Russia’s Northern Caucasus, the pro-Kremlin authorities in Ingushetia have been fighting an Islamist-tinged insurgency that claims dozens of lives every year.
Analysts have long suggested the insurgency is not only fueled by the growing popularity of Islamic fundamentalism but also rampant unemployment which encourages young adults to turn toward extremism.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
“Leaving a place that I love was very difficult. We’re all Hong Kong people who come out to protest because we love Hong Kong. But now we are forced to leave.” *Jay* is a former Hong Kong resident who attended many of last year’s protests, including on the front lines. He was arrested and charged with riot offenses, but fled the territory when he was being released on bail several months ago. He is now among dozens of Hong Kong residents seeking political asylum in Australia, and he has no expectation of returning home. “When I was taking the bus to the