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Ingush President Survives Assassination Attempt

Vladikavkaz, Russia; 6 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A powerful car-bomb blast blamed on a suicide attacker hit the motorcade of the leader of Russia's southern republic of Ingushetia.

Authorities say pro-Kremlin Ingush President Murat Zyazikov was slightly injured in the attack.

Sergei Kozhemyaka, a duty officer for the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry, said Zyazikov was heading from the city of Nazran to the regional capital Magas when another car on the road exploded.

Several bodyguards were also lightly injured. Zyazikov said the blast was apparently set off by a "suicide terrorist."

Prime Minister Timur Mogushkov said: "A Zhiguli [Lada] car filled with explosives exploded as the president's motorcade was passing by. The president is now carrying out his duties. Two security guards from the presidential convoy were hurt."

Ingushetia's acting chief prosecutor, Umarbek Galayev, called the attack an assassination attempt. Zyazikov said he suspects the attack was the work of "forces that want to destabilize the situation" in the North Caucasus -- the region that includes war-ravaged Chechnya -- and in Ingushetia itself.