Russian News Host Shot Dead in North Caucasus

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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A television news host in Russia's troubled North Caucasus region has been shot to death, in the latest deadly attack in an area where Islamic militants are active.

Russian officials said Thursday that 28-year-old Kazbek Gekkiyev was shot to death late Wednesday by unknown assailants. His colleagues at a regional branch of the state channel VGTRK said he was not known for reporting on controversial topics.

Witnesses said his assailants asked his identity before fatally shooting him. The shooting took place on a street in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkariya province.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the killing Thursday, saying security forces must find the killers so they can be brought to justice. He said all people need to be protected.

Regional police in Nalchik said early Thursday Deputy Transportation Minister Vladislav Dyadshenko was wounded after an explosive went off near his car.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has called the North Caucasus one of the most dangerous areas for journalists in the world. Local officials blame attacks on journalists and government ministers on militants seeking to establish an Islamic state.