Former Cossack activist shot dead in Caucasus: official

21st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A former Cossack activist has been shot dead in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region where murders of law enforcement officials and activists have become near daily occurrences, a spokeswoman for regional investigators said Tuesday.

An unidentified assailant knocked on the door of Vasily Sibiryatkin, a 60-year-old pensioner in the town of Tyrnyauz in the Kabardino-Balkaria region, and shot him to death late Monday, said a spokeswoman for the regional branch of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office.

"He died from gunshot wounds," Tatyana Nauzhokova told AFP.

Asked what could be the reason for the killing of Sibiryatkin, a former Cossack activist, the spokeswoman said activists were attacked or killed in the region almost on a daily basis, adding that the authorities had launched a probe into the murder.

Kabardino-Balkaria, which is famed for its ski resorts, is located near the volatile regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia but has until recently rarely seen the bloody attacks that characterise the simmering guerrilla war between Russian forces and separatist rebels.

© 2010 AFP

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