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The president of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia
The president of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia said on Monday that he hoped an investigation into the recent death of a local journalist in police custody would be objective.

"We feel such a responsibility [for the journalist's death]. This is a tragedy," Murat Zyazikov told the press.

Magomed Yevloyev, who ran the banned website Ingushetiya.ru, was shot in a police car on August 31 and died in hospital shortly afterwards. Police said he was shot by accident, a claim his supporters rejected. His opposition website had earlier called for protests against the local administration.

A source in the republic's Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that Yevloyev's death had come about after he was detained by police at Magas Airport. Police officers then put him in a police car to take him to Nazran to give testimony regarding "a criminal case."

"Preliminary reports say that as the vehicle that Yevloyev and the police officers were in was moving, one of the police officers' guns accidentally went off, and a bullet hit Yevloyev in the head," the source said.

"He was shot straight in the temple," said Magomed Khazbiyev, Yevloyev's official representative.

Following Yevloyev's death, thousands took to the streets of Ingushetia's main city of Nazran in protest.

Zyazikov said details of the investigation could be made public in a month or month and a half.

Russia remains one of the world's most dangerous countries for reporters. According to data from the international organization Reporters Without Borders, 21 journalists were murdered in Russia between 2000 and 2007.


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