Russian judge gunned down in restive Caucasus

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MOSCOW: A Russian judge was shot dead near his home in the restive Caucasus region of Dagestan by an unknown assailant, investigators said on Thursday.

An “unknown person fired shots from an automatic weapon” at judge Ubaidula Magomedov late Wednesday in the courtyard of his home in the mountain village of Assab, Dagestan’s investigative committee said.

“The judge died on the spot,” it said. A criminal probe has been launched and “Magomedov’s professional work is viewed as the main reason for the attempt on his life.”

Magomedov has worked as a judge of a regional court in Dagestan since he was appointed in September 2007 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Publicly available information indicates that his recent cases included drug possession and explosives trafficking, though a representative of the supreme court of Dagestan told TASS news agencies that he also reviewed terrorism and extremism cases.

Dagestan is a mountainous region in the North Caucasus which borders Chechnya, where Russia fought two separatist conflicts. Dagestan is exposed to near daily violence due to a simmering Islamist insurgency.

Meanwhile, three alleged militants died in a shootout with security officers in Andi, a Dagestani village not far from Chechnya, a security source told the RIA-Novosti news agency on Thursday.

It wasn’t clear whether the two incidents were related. The two villages are less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) apart.

AFP

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