Russian colonel convicted over Chechnya murdered: official

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Army colonel Yuri Budanov, who was convicted in 2003 of strangling an 18-year-old girl in Chechnya in a case that shocked Russia, was shot dead in Moscow on Friday, investigators said.

"According to preliminary information, the man killed is Yuri Budanov," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The shooting took place on Komsomolsky Prospekt in southwest Moscow at 1230 pm (0830 GMT), it added, without giving further details.

The website said that assailants, who arrived earlier on the scene in a car, pumped four bullets into the head of Budanov.

The strangling in 2000 of Elza Kungayeva, a 18-year-old Chechen, became a notorious case, highlighting systematic abuse by the Russian army in the war in Chechnya.

Budanov was released from jail in January 2009 after serving only part of his 10-year sentence for the young Chechen woman's murder, a move that provoked angry protests by Russian rights activists.

© 2011 AFP

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