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A Muslim public figure has been killed in Moscow in what his former employer said was an apparent hate crime.

Moscow city police said the body of Metin Mekhtiyev was found late on April 10 with severe knife wounds near his apartment building in central Moscow.

Police gave no details on possible motives for the murder.

Mekhtiyev, 33, a Russian national of Azerbaijani origin, had worked at the Islamic Cultural Center.

The center, one of the oldest Islamic groups in Russia, was closed down by Russia's Supreme Court last year.

Mekhtiyev had also been involved in other Islamic organizations.

Former colleagues citing witnesses said a group of five people including a young woman "first beat him up and then slit his throat."

They said the murder bore the hallmarks of a hate crime by radical ultranationalists.

Investigators later said Mekhtiyev was most likely murdered during a robbery.

Based on reporting AFP and Interfax

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