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.