Muslim leader shot dead in Dagestan

Muslim leader shot dead in Dagestan

MOSCOW - Reuters
Gunmen shot dead a Muslim religious leader in Russia’s Dagestan region yesterday in an attack likely to worsen a spiral of militant violence that threatens Moscow’s hold on the restive North Caucasus, Reuters reported.

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Karimulla Ibragimov in the town of Derbent, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. Russian news agencies said the gunmen escaped in a car. “All three died on the spot from the gunshot wounds,” the committee, a government agency that handles criminal investigations, said in a statement. Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that Ibragimov and two of his relatives were killed in the attack citing an interior ministry official said.

“Unidentified people opened fire on Kalimulla Ibragimov’s car when he and his two relatives were headed to a Derbent mosque for the morning prayer,” spokeswoman for the Dagestan interior ministry Fatina Ubaidatova said. Ibragimov was in the car with his brother and father when they were attacked in Caspian Sea city of Derbent, said Dagestan’s Investigative Committee, cited by the RIA Novosti news agency. “The men died on the spot from their wounds. The attackers fled in a car,” said the Investigative Committee in a statement.

Fifth Muslim leader killed this year

Local officials said Ibragimov had served as an imam at an unregistered mosque frequented by radical Muslims. He was at least the fifth Muslim leader killed this year in Dagestan following a rise in tension between moderate and more radical Muslims in the southern Russian republic.

Security analysts said the violence could be aimed at spoiling efforts to reconcile moderate and more extremist Muslims.