Russia opposition leader in toilet bowl attack

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Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, said on Friday unknown assailants had mangled his Range Rover by throwing a toilet bowl on the car when it was parked in central Moscow.

Former deputy prime minister Nemtsov, a one-time whiz kid in the government of Boris Yeltsin turned leading opposition politician, said his car had come under attack last night after he parked in the yard of his apartment building in central Moscow.

"They threw a toilet bowl on the car's roof from high above," Nemtsov said, speaking on popular Echo of Moscow radio. He did not say who he thought was behind the attack, adding police refused to open a criminal case.

His spokeswoman Olga Shorina said police said they did not believe they would find the attackers. "They did not show any interest," she told AFP. She said the toilet bowl -- which she noted was clean -- damaged the car's roof and windshield, among others.

Nemtsov said he was being followed, and his drivers have in the past discovered navigators attached to the bottom of the car.

Sidelined opposition leaders in Russia have been repeatedly harassed in the past.

They stand virtually no chance of mounting any serious challenge to the Kremlin as Russia heads into parliamentary elections in December followed by a presidential vote three months later.

Last month, Nemtsov and several other politicians submitted documents to register a new opposition party but political observers say the chance of it ever being registered ahead of the polls is nearly non-existent.

© 2011 AFP

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