Times Wire Reports

The construction minister in Russia's violence-plagued Ingushetia republic was shot to death in his office, the latest in a series of high-profile attacks on top officials.

Ruslan Amerkhanov was shot by two men who entered his office in the republic's capital, Magas, one armed with an assault rifle and the other with a pistol, said Ingush Interior Ministry spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva.

The assailants fled in a waiting car.

Ingush Security Council Secretary Alexei Vorobyov said investigators believe the killing could be related to recent audits of construction projects that turned up building violations and misuse of funds.

Ingushetia, which borders war-battered Chechnya, has seen near-daily attacks on police or police operations against fighters variously believed to be militants inspired by Chechnya's separatists or connected with criminal clans.

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