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Ingush president says "worried" by lack of militant activity

RIA Novosti

05:41 08/10/2009 MAGAS, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Russia's volatile southern republic of Ingushetia said in an interview with RIA Novosti that he is concerned by the recent "lull" in militant activity in the republic.

Ingushetia, one of Russia's poorest regions and situated in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, is currently experiencing a relatively calm period after being hit by a series of high-profile attacks on troops, police and other officials.

"I am worried by this lull more than by the storm itself," said Yevkurov, who returned to the republic in August after being treated in Moscow for extensive injuries he sustained during a suicide car bomb attack on his motorcade in June.

He said that at least 30 suspected militants in the republic cannot be brought to justice due to lack of evidence.

Commenting on the recent government reshuffle, the president said that he has no candidacy to the post of prime minister yet.

On Monday Yevkurov dismissed the government due to corruption and the Cabinet's failure to tackle socio-economic problems. He appointed local Security Council chief Alexei Vorobyov as acting prime minister.

"It [the reshuffle] is not about [ex-prime minister] Rashid Gaisanov, an individual, it is about the unsatisfactory work of the government on the whole. That's why I had to take such measures - to sack the whole Cabinet," he said, adding that Gaisanov "made mistakes" while choosing his team.

He said that the reshuffle less than a week before regional elections will not harm the republic.

"Elections are elections, and the work of government is the work of government... So, this decision will have no negative impact on the elections," Yevkurov said.

He added that among the candidates for the October 11 elections, 47 people had criminal convictions, including for murder, and urged them to withdraw their candidacies.

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