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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008, 19:10 GMT
Southern Russia TV boss shot dead
Dagestan map
The head of a state TV station in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan has been shot dead, police say.

Gadzhi Abashilov, 58, died when his car was sprayed with bullets from attackers in a passing vehicle in the republic's capital, Makhachkala.

Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chayka said he was taking personal control of the murder investigation.

Violent crime is common in Dagestan, which has also seen frequent activity by rebels from neighbouring Chechnya.

Mr Abashilov was attacked at 1945 local time (1645 GMT) near a supermarket in a residential area of the city.

He died at the scene and his driver was wounded. The motive for the killing is not known.

Mr Abashilov was a well-known journalist in Dagestan.

Before becoming head of Dagestan's State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, he hosted his own TV programme, edited a local newspaper and served as deputy information minister in the republic.

His death came a day after another journalist from Dagestan, Ilyas Shurpayev, was found dead in his flat in Moscow.

Mr Shurpayev, who worked for Russian Channel One television, reported from all over the North Caucasus region.

There has been no suggestion of any connection between the two deaths.


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