Respected Religious Leader Killed in Dagestan

Posted October 27th, 2011 at 7:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Unknown gunmen have killed a well-known religious leader in Dagestan, Russia's restive Caucasus region.

A local news agency says Sirajutdin Khuriksky was shot to death Thursday in his courtyard in a village in the Tabasaransky district. It says the region's President Magomedsalam Magomedov condemned the killing and sent his condolences to Khuriksky's family, friends and supporters.

Dagestan and neighboring Ingushetia and Chechnya experience almost daily shootings, which local officials blame on criminals and Islamist militants.

Islamist rebels have been fighting for an independent Islamic state in Russia's predominantly Muslim North Caucasus. The battles have continued after two Russian wars against the separatists in Chechnya.

Random bombings and ambushes in the North Caucasus usually target federal troops and regional government forces. Sometimes gunmen also attack moderate local leaders.