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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Insurgents Attack Police Bus

Insurgents in Ingushetia killed a police officer and wounded three in an attack on a police unit's bus Tuesday, local officials told Interfax.

The attack occurred as police escorted a truck carrying goods through Ingushetia, officials said.

"The attack was very sudden, the police did not even have time to open fire," a local Interior Ministry official told Interfax.

No immediate comment was available from officials on the reports.

Attacks in Ingushetia have become more frequent in recent few weeks. On July 6, gunmen used grenade launchers to attack a military base. Two weeks later, an adviser to Ingushetia's president was shot dead. (Reuters)

Worry Over Extremism Law

More than one-third of Russians believe a new extremism law could be used to crack down on the political opposition in the upcoming State Duma and presidential elections, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center.

Thirty-six percent of the respondents said any criticism of authorities could be deemed extremist, while 38 percent feared authorities would employ the law against political opponents, according to the poll released Monday.

The poll, conducted July 13 to 16 among 1,600 Russians, has a margin of error of 3 percent. (MT)

Great Russia to Try Again

Nationalist-oriented Great Russia will repeat its attempt to register as a political party after the Federal Registration Service denied its initial request earlier this month, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

The agency cited "inconsistencies" in Great Russia's application in denying it registration, Interfax reported. The service also said there were no statements from a number of people on party lists confirming that they had joined the party, the agency said.

Great Russia filed a lawsuit Thursday with Moscow's Gagarinsky District Court, arguing that the registration denial was illegal, and its leaders have said they were denied registration at the Kremlin's behest. (MT)

Kyrgyz Doctors Fired

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Four top Kyrgyz doctors have been fired for accidentally infecting 10 children and one adult with HIV.

Health Minister Tuygunaaly Abdraimov on Monday fired the head of the southern Osh region's children's hospital; the regional epidemic control and regional blood transfusion center chiefs; and a district hospital chief, the Republican AIDS Association said.

The children and the adult contracted HIV while receiving injections and blood transfusions, Health Ministry officials said. They gave no other details.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on Monday instructed the chief prosecutor's office "to bring those responsible to account," his office said.

There are 1,193 people infected with HIV in the impoverished Central Asian country of 5 million, according to official figures. (AP)

Uzbek Islamic Paper Closed

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Uzbek authorities have closed down a popular Islam-oriented weekly newspaper, the newspaper's editor said.

The state media and communications media agency shut down the independent weekly Among the People, citing alleged breaches of the media law, editor Khairulla Khamidov said Monday.

Agency officials did not detail what the the alleged breaches had been or provide any further comment on the closing.

The weekly, which discussed issues like infant mortality, homosexuality and prostitution from the Muslim viewpoint, was started in February. Its circulation in the capital, Tashkent, was 24,000.

The authorities stepped up pressure on independent journalists two years ago, after government troops opened fire in May 2005 on a crowd of protesters in the city of Andijan. (AP)

Tough Town for Foreigners

Two foreigners were robbed in central St. Petersburg early this week, one in a nightclub, another in the metro.

A 20-year-old medical student from Morocco was robbed early Monday at the Apollo nightclub on Izmailovsky Prospekt in the northern capital, Interfax reported Tuesday.

The student had his cell phone and $462 in cash taken from him after scuffling with an unidentified assailant at the club at around 5:30 a.m. Monday, police told Interfax.

In a separate incident, a pickpocket snatched the wallet of a 54-year old Swiss tourist Sunday as stood on the platform at the Gostiny Dvor metro station, Interfax reported.

The wallet contained $1,083, four credit cards and a driver's license, reported. (MT)

7 Extremists Convicted

A St. Petersburg jury found seven right-wing extremists guilty in the trial of the killing of an anti-fascist campaigner, Timur Kacharava, 20, Interfax reported Tuesday. Andrei Shabalin was found guilty of murder while the other six where found guilty of instigating hatred, the report said. The hearing will continue Wednesday about the defendants' sentencing. (MT)