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Daghestan: Car Bomb Kills Local Government Minister

Moscow, 27 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A government minister in Russia's southern republic of Daghestan was killed by a bomb explosion today. A spokeswoman for the regional branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) said unknown assailants blew up Magomedsalikh Gusaev's car as he was being driven from his home to his office. His driver survived the attack.

The Interfax news agency quoted local officials as saying the explosion was caused by a bomb planted on the road.

Gusaev, the regional minister for nationalities policy, information, and external relations, survived a previous assassination attempt in 2001 with a leg wound.

When rebels from Chechnya invaded Daghestan in 1999 in an attempt to carve out a separatist Islamic state, Gusaev helped fend off the incursion and was singled out by Islamic extremists as one of their top enemies.