Top Muslim cleric shot dead in volatile Caucasus: official

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The top Muslim cleric was shot dead on Wednesday by unidentified assailants in Russia's volatile region of Kabardino-Balkaria, an official said.

Anas Pshikhachev, the region's top mufti, received several gunshot wounds and died of his injuries on the spot in the town of Nalchik, a spokeswoman for the regional investigators told AFP.

She declined further details, saying only that investigators went to inspect the scene.

Kabardino-Balkaria, which is famed for its ski resorts, is located near the volatile regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, where the authorities are battling a Muslim insurgency.

© 2010 AFP

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