DAGHESTAN: REPUBLICAN MINISTER DIES IN BLAST

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MAKHACHKALA, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - Zaghir Arukhov, Daghestani Minister of Nationalities Policies, Information and Foreign Relations, died in a blast in Makhachkala, says preliminary information. The news reached Novosti from a city police spokesman, who was referring to an officer on duty of the Sovietsky police precinct.

Daghestan, with the capital in Makhachkala, is one of Russia's North Caucasian autonomies, and borders on Chechnya.

The blast came in Arukhov's house entrance as the minister was going home from his office, late this afternoon, said our informant. The house was in Aliev Street, close to the Sovietsky police precinct, in the city's heart.

Police officers working on the blast site confirmed the information of the tragedy for Novosti.

Zaghir Arukhov's predecessor to the portfolio also met a violent death. Magomedsalikh Gusayev died in a booby-trapped car, 2003.

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