Imam killed in Russia's Dagestan: investigators

14th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

An imam in Russia's restive Dagestan region was shot dead early Tuesday by unidentified gunmen when he was returning home from a religious service, investigators said.

Ashurlav Kurbanov was gunned down before dawn in the village of Mikheyevka, near Dagestan's border with Chechnya. "Kurbanov died on the spot from his bullet wounds," said Russia's Investigative Committee in a statement.

The murder comes a week after the killing of a moderate Muslim university professor in Dagestan's capital Makhachkala, who was a critic of radical Wahhabism. The killers also shot his nephew.

Since the beginning of 2010, 13 religious leaders have been killed in the North Caucasus, according to Kavkaz Uzel website, which monitors unrest in the troubled region where Russia is fighting an Islamist insurgency.

Dagestan has experienced some of the deadliest violence in Russia's mostly Muslim southern periphery since peace was largely restored in neighbouring Chechnya just under a decade ago.

© 2011 AFP

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