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    Putin appoints new interior minister of Kabardino-Balkaria

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    MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Khachim Shogenov as interior minister of the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, and appointed Yury Tomchak in his place, the Kremlin press service said Friday.

    The decision was part of a series of new appointments within the Interior Ministry made by the president.

    The presidential appointments also included Yury Draguntsov, who assumes the post of head of the ministry's security department.

    Kabardino-Balkaria became a focus of national attention in October 2005 when militants attacked its capital, Nalchik. Interior Ministry troops repelled the assault. The republic's Interior Ministry later reported that 24 officers, 12 civilians, and 72 militants had been killed.

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