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Ingush Leader Comfirms Senior Rebel Killed In Raid

Aleksandr Tikhomirov, also known as Said Buryatsky
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The president of Russia's volatile Caucasian republic of Ingushetia has confirmed reports that Russian forces killed a senior Islamist rebel, local newswire reported.

Earlier this week, Russian news agencies, citing law-enforcement sources, said Aleksander Tikhomirov, also known as Said Buryatsky, was killed on March 2 in a gun battle near Nazran, Ingushetia's largest town.

"He was killed, but his place will be taken over by some other ideologist," newswires quoted Yunus-Bek Yevkurov as saying.

Last year, Yevkurov almost died in a suicide bomb attack Russian police suspect was organized by Tikhomirov.

The rebel also took responsibility for the deadliest attack in Russia's North Caucasus region in four years when a suicide bomber killed at least 20 people and injured 138 at a police building in Ingushetia in August.

Ingushetia, a tiny republic wedged between North Ossetia and Chechnya, has been subjected to an Islamic insurgency for nearly a decade.