Russian ex-intelligence chief commits suicide: official

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The former intelligence chief of Russia's interior troops Monday committed suicide by firing a shot to the head at his Moscow apartment block, officials said.

Viktor Chevrizov left his apartment at around 10:00 am and went into the stairwell, where he fired the fatal shot with his Makarov service pistol, the investigative committee of prosecutors for the Moscow region said.

Investigators have now launched a probe into the circumstances of the suicide, a spokesman for the committee, Sergei Marchenko, told the ITAR-TASS news agency.

The Interfax news agency said he had retired in 2002.

Chevrizov, 62 according to the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily's website, has served as intelligence chief for the domestic ground forces who report to the interior ministry.

There were no further clues over the cause of the suicide and Russian news agencies said the former major general had shown no sign of any morbid mood nor left a suicide note.

In August, General Yuri Ivanov, the deputy head of Russia's military intelligence agency the GRU died mysteriously in Syria in a swimming accident whose circumstances have yet to be fully explained.

© 2010 AFP

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