The minister of construction in Russia''s turbulent Ingushetia region, Ruslan Amerkhanov, was shot dead Wednesday inside his ministerial office, officials said.

"The construction minister has been shot dead in his office," Madina Khadziyeva, spokeswoman for Ingushetia''s interior ministry, told AFP.

Russian news agencies said Amerkhanov was shot dead at point-blank range when a group of armed men burst into his office in Ingushetia''s capital of Magas.

Overwhelmingly Muslim Ingushetia and other regions in Russia''s northern Caucasus are battling Islamist militants who are waging a low-level but increasingly deadly insurgency against the pro-Kremlin local authorities.