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Top Muslim Cleric Shot Dead In Volatile Caucasus

The top Muslim cleric in Russia's volatile region of Kabardino-Balkaria has been shot dead.

A spokeswoman for the regional investigators said that Anas Pshikhachev, the region's top mufti, was attacked by two unidentified assailants just outside his home in the town of Nalchik on December 15.

He received several gunshot wounds and died of his injuries on the spot.

President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his condolences to the mufti's family.

Kabardino-Balkaria is located near the volatile regions of Chechnya, Daghestan, and Ingushetia, where the authorities are battling a Muslim insurgency and attacks on government officials are a near-daily occurrence.

compiled from agency reports