Saturday, 30th July , 2011 , 04:51 [am] | Azerbaijan
Gunmen kill Dagestan leader’s spokesman
Gunmen in Russia’s volatile province of Dagestan shot dead the regional leader's top spokesman and his driver on Thursday, state-run news agency RIA reported, citing a local police official.
The attack is the second in a week on officials in the regional capital of Makhachkala. Militants said last Friday they were responsible for the killing of two guards for a regional anti-extremism official.
A decade after federal forces ousted a rebel government in neighbouring Chechnya, insurgents aiming to carve an Islamic state from Russia's North Caucasus carry out nearly daily attacks in the region.
President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have promised that security will be a priority before a parliamentary election in December and a presidential poll in 2012.
Dagestan, wedged between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea, has largely become the epicentre of separatist violence, fed by a mix of unemployment, corruption and religion.
Garun Kurbanov, the head of the press service for regional leader Magomedsalam Magomedov, was attacked on Thursday morning when he left his house and walked to his car, RIA reported.
“The incident happened around 0815 Moscow time (0415 GMT) … Unknown gunmen shot at Kurbanov's car, a Toyota Camry. According to preliminary information, the official and his driver were killed,” the local Interior Ministry official said.
Separately an explosion early on Thursday targeted a beer stand, in the latest attack on alcohol sellers by militants bent on establishing an Islamic state, and an improvised explosive device was found nearby. No one was injured.ria, Voice of a Nation