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FACTBOX-Key facts about Russia's region of Ingushetia

Aug 17 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber detonated a truck packed with explosives on Monday at a police headquarters in Russia's Ingushetia region, killing at least 19 people and wounding 68.

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The following are key facts about Ingushetia:

* Ingushetia has be plagued by violence in recent months and analysts say the situation is spiralling out of control, threatening to undermine the Kremlin's policy in the North Caucasus.

* Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was seriously wounded in a suicide bomb attack in June. He was treated in Moscow and is still not back at work. At his first public appearance since the attack, the 46-year-old former paratrooper general pledged to step up the fight against rebels.

* Locals say the insurgency in Ingushetia has been fuelled by a mix of desperate poverty, Islamic radicalism and heavy handed actions by the local security services. Russian and Ingush officials say publicly that corruption is at shocking levels, adding to the vast gulf between the region's rulers and its population of around half a million.

* The smallest region in Russia, Ingushetia is wedged between North Ossetia and Chechnya. It is one of Russia's poorest regions with an estimated unemployment rate of over 50 percent as of March this year. Over 90 percent of Ingushetia's revenue comes in the form of subsidies from Moscow.

* The Sufi branch of Islam is Ingushetia's main religion. It is one of 21 republics within Russia and has nominal autonomy with its own president, parliament and constitution.

* The Soviet Union lumped ethnically close Ingushetia and Chechnya together, but after its 1991 fall, Chechnya declared independence and Ingushetia chose to become a republic within Russia.

* Relations between Ingushetia and North Ossetia are strained. Paramilitary groups fought a brief war in 1992 over a disputed district. Hundreds died and thousands became refugees.

* Ruslan Aushev was Ingushetia's president from 1992-2001. He steered Ingushetia away from the conflict in Chechnya, where rebels fought federal forces in two wars from 1994. Backed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Murat Zyazikov, an ex-KGB general, took over as president in 2002. In October last year, President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Yevkurov as the region's new boss. Yevkurov clamped down on corrupt officials and proposed a poverty reduction programme in a bid to prevent people from yielding to radical Islam.

* During the second Chechen war which began in 1999, Ingushetia was the destination for thousands of Chechen refugees. Since 2002, Russian special forces have cracked down on rebels in Ingushetia. Around 90 people died in a rebel attack on the city of Nazran in 2004. (Writing by Dmitry Solovyov and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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