Slain Russian activist's relatives killed

Dec. 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

NAZRAN, Russia, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two relatives of a slain Northern Caucasus opposition figure were killed when police shot at their car and it exploded, a government official said Thursday.

The mother-in-law and a brother-in-law of Maksharip Aushev, killed Oct. 25 when his car was strafed with gunfire as he drove along a federal highway, were killed Wednesday when police in the republic of Ingushetia fired on their propane-fueled car as it made a U-turn near a checkpoint and fled, said Kaloi Akhilgov, a spokesman for Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

Aushev's 27-year-old widow and another brother-in-law were injured in the blast, in Nazran, Ingushetia's largest city, Akhilgov told The Moscow Times.

He said denied Interfax and RIA-Novosti reports the explosion was caused by a remote-controlled bomb.

Aushev, 43, was a businessman from a prominent family who campaigned against abductions by security forces in Ingushetia.

Ingushetia, which neighbors Chechnya, is one of Russia's poorest and most restive regions, destabilized by alleged corruption, high-profile crimes, anti-government protests and allegations of human-rights abuses.

Suicide bombings at police checkpoints have also increased in frequency, including one Thursday at a Nazran checkpoint, which wounded at least 16 officers and two civilians, officials said.

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