Mayor shot dead in frontline Ukrainian town

23rd February 2016, Comments 0 comments

The mayor of a government-controlled town in war-torn eastern Ukraine has been shot dead, the police said Tuesday, adding that it was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

Volodymyr Zhyvaga, 44, was mayor of Starobilsk, a town of about 20,000 located 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of the pro-Russian separatist-held city of Lugansk.

Zhyvaga was found lying unconscious in the back yard of the local town council with gunshot wounds to the head and neck, and died on his way to hospital Monday, local police spokeswoman Tetyana Pogukai told Ukraine's 112 television channel.

The police said they had no immediate suspects and were investigating whether the murder was politically-motivated, a result of a domestic dispute, or related to the mayor's business activities.

More than 9,000 people have died during the Ukrainian government's 22-month war against pro-Russian insurgents in the former Soviet state's industrial east.

© 2016 AFP

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