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"In charge of situation" say Ingush authorities as violence subsides

At least two soldiers have been killed and four wounded in separate incidents in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia. A car and an army truck came under fire in different locations within an hour of each other.

At least 13 people have died as attacks on law enforcement officers, army personnel and civilians increase in the region.

More than a dozen incidents have been reported in the last few weeks alone.

Meanwhile, two Ingush men that were abducted in the Chechen republic on Wednesday have been released. They are now home and safe.

The father of one of the abducted men thanked those involved in the release.  

“We have relatives and friends in Moscow and in the Chechen republic who helped us, we also recieved support from many decent police and security officers who took part in the search,” he said.

“I’d like to also thank the media for their help,” the man continued: “They called me at one in the morning, gave the phone to my son, he said they were alive and well and asked to pick them up from the town of Shatoy in the Chechen republic.”

They were kidnapped on Wednesday while on their way home from the city of Grozny. Unidentified men in military clothing are said to have stopped their taxi and beaten the driver.

The incident immediately sparked a protest in the city of Nazran in Ingushetia where some two hundred people blocked a road and the only railway in the city.

They blamed the Ingushetia authorities for the kidnapping.

The region’s Interior Minister arrived at the rally but was attacked by the protestors and had to flee. Police tried to disperse the crowd, which responded by throwing rocks. Several people were injured on the both sides.  Police even fired gunshots into the air to disperse the crowd but it continued to grow until the news came that the abducted men had been released.

The President of the Republic Murat Zyazikov denied any allegations that Ingush authorities were involved in the incident.

“I was going to fly back home last night, but towards night everything returned to normal. They were found somewhere in the Shali district of the Chechen republic. It is an unclear and intricate story. Moreover, those who were saying the brothers had disappeared didn't apply in writing to the prosecution office or anywhere,” Mr Zyazikov noted.

The security situation in Ingushetia has been deteriorating over the last two months following the murder of an ethnic Russian woman and her children.

Later a bomb exploded at their funeral injuring some ten people. The new incident adds to the local government's problems, but it says it is in charge of the situation.

Meanwhile, human rights groups say the situation in Ingushetia is getting out of control. Even the president of the Chechen republic Kadyrov offered help, but Moscow besides sending additional troops has so far kept silent, and Mr Zyazikov made it clear, his republic can solve its problems on its own.