WASHINGTON — It seems that Russia’s increased security efforts to stabilize the troubled Caucasus region is working, until a top security official was gunned down in the region of Ingushetia.
Reuters reports that local police blamed Islamist militants and rebels operating in the Muslim-populated region and killed top official Ahmed Kotiyev and his driver.
Kotiyev was the head of the regional Security Council that is in charge of local security and defense issues. He was killed as gunmen unleashed a hail of bullets on his car while traveling on a highway north of the major city of Nazran. The Ingushetia republic and region is close to where the next Winter Olympics will be held in 2014 in Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasing Russian security presence in the region ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and has resulted in killing multiple militants and their leaders, but even that might not be enough.
The international world would typically recognize the names of Chechnya and Dagestan, particularly after the Boston Marathon bombings by the Tsarnaev brothers in May of this year. But Ingushetia, which borders these areas, is another violent region where Russian security forces battle Islamist militants on an almost daily basis.
Kotiyev had survived a previous assassination attempt when a grenade launcher was used to try to level his home with him in it, but escaped. He is known to help militants abandon the Islamist insurgency in addition to coordinating security efforts.