Moscow, 12 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A large-scale manhunt for two abducted Federal Security Service (FSB) officers is continuing today in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia.
Colonel Yuri Gribov, the chief of the FSB department for Ingushetia, and an aide were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in the republic's capital of Nazran yesterday.
Ingush President Ruslan Aushev flew to Nazran from Moscow today to personally direct the search effort. More than 2,000 Ingush police officers aided by a special FSB brigade from Moscow and 18 helicopters are combing the small republic for signs of the missing men.
The FSB earlier called the kidnapping a provocation aimed at stirring tension in the troubled North Caucasus region. The presidents of North Ossetia and Ingushetia last week signed an agreement, aimed at ending tensions between ethnic Ossetians and Ingush arising from fighting in North Ossetia's Prigorodnyi region in 1992.