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Kazan Mosque Robbed, Guard Killed On Muslim Holiday

KAZAN, Tatarstan -- A guard in the Bolghar Mosque in Kazan was found shot dead this morning in an apparent robbery attempt.

The guard was identified as 57-year-old Khaibulla Nafiev.

RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir reports that the safe in the mosque was broken into.

The imam at the mosque said it is likely that the assailants' goal was to steal from the church, since December 8 was the first day of Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayram), one of the most important Muslim holidays and a time when people give money to mosques.

The criminals did not get much money, however, as a mosque official took most of the holiday contributions to the bank before the break in.

It's the first known murder in a mosque in the Tatar capital.