Religious figure killed in Russia's Dagestan: report

27th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Unknown gunmen shot to death a religious leader in Dagestan Thursday in the latest violence to shake Russia's restive Caucasus republic, Interfax reported.

Sirajutdin Khurikski was shot to death in his home in the village of Seleni by two or three assailants, the news agency reported, quoting Dagestan's interior ministry's preliminary findings.

Khurikski was known locally as a sheikh and was estimated to have a following of several thousand people, Interfax said.

The Caspian Sea region experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and Islamists with links to Chechnya.

Fuelled by endemic poverty and corruption, the militants are seeking to establish an independent Islamic state across the North Caucasus.

In September, gunmen shot dead an elderly imam at his house in a village in northeast Dagestan, the fourth murder of an imam in the mainly Muslim republic since April.

© 2011 AFP

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