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The War in Ingushetia began in 2007 as an escalation of an insurgency in Ingushetia connected to the separatist conflict in Chechnya. The conflict has been described as a civil war by local human rights activists and opposition politicians; others have referred to it as an uprising. By mid-2009 Ingushetia had surpassed Chechnya as the most violent of the North Caucasus republics.
In 2008 Magomed Yevloyev, owner of the highly critical opposition website Ingushetia.ru, was killed while in police custody. The aftermath of the killing was marked by an upsurge in separatist activity and animosity towards Russia and Russians among the Ingush population. At the center of this controversy was the deeply unpopular President Murat Zyazikov, a former KGB general who was criticized both by human rights groups and by some in the Russian government. The Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov was targeted by a suicide bomber in October 2008. Eventually, Zyazikov was asked to resign. On 30 October 2008 Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree to remove Zyazikov from office and replace him with Lieutenant Colonel Yunus-bek Yevkurov. This was hailed by the Ingush opposition as a victory.
However, the violence did not end. According to police sources, nearly 50 people (including 27 rebels, 18 policemen and two civilians) died in the almost daily clashes in this small republic (less than 500,000 inhabitants) in the first three months of 2009. Assassinations and attempted assassinations of high-profile figures continued. On 10 June 2009 Aza Gazgireeva, the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ingushetia, was gunned down, and on 13 June former Deputy Prime Minister Bashir Aushev was shot dead outside his home. Ingush President Yevkurov was seriously wounded in a suicide bomb attack on 22 June, and Construction Minister Ruslan Amerkhanov was shot dead in his office in August. In October 2010, the Islamist group Ingush Jamaat announced a moratorium on killing police officers; according to President Yevkurov, 400 police officers had been killed in Ingushetia in the five years to 2 October 2010.