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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ingush Leader, Limping, Goes Home

ReutersYevkurov, walking with a cane after an attempt on his life, visiting Saturday the site of a suicide bombing in Nazran.

MAGAS, Ingushetia — Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov visited the Nazran site of a suicide bombing upon returning home Saturday following an assassination attempt, and he promised to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

Yevkurov consoled residents as he limped around the burned-out site of an attack earlier in the week that killed 25 people at a police station in Nazran.

He had been recovering in the Moscow region from wounds sustained when a suicide bomber blew up his car in June, killing his driver.

“The fight against terrorism will be merciless,” Yevkurov said.

But the 46-year-old former paratrooper stopped short of announcing a counterterrorist operation across Ingushetia. “To introduce such an operation is easy, ending it is the difficult part,” he told a news conference in the Ingush capital, Magas, explaining that ceasing a counterterrorism drive could be seen as a green light for violence.

Yevkurov appealed to militants to give up their arms, “If you voluntarily lay down your weapons, I will forgive you.”

He also promised reformed insurgents protection and a fair trial process. “It is impossible to corner people. Even rats would resist,” he said.

President Dmitry Medvedev told Yevkurov by telephone that he was certain the Ingush leader would restore order, the Kremlin said. Yevkurov told journalists that he also planned to restructure the Ingush government.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, in line with Medvedev’s new security measures in the North Caucasus, ordered that the liquidation of “terrorists” and their channels of financing be sped up, the ministry said Saturday.

The rebel web site Kavkaz Center claimed Friday that Chechen rebels under the command of Doku Umarov said the attack was the work of a “martyr.” (Related story, Page 4.) On Saturday, Umarov said on the site, “Ramadan is the best time for jihad,” referring to the Muslim holy month that started Friday.