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Authorities say that a top commander of the OMON paramilitary police has been assassinated in Russia's Caucasus republic of Daghestan, while another policeman was killed in a clash with suspected militants in neighboring Chechnya.

Daghestan Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said Shamil Murtuzaliyev, the deputy head of the OMON police division in the republic, was killed today by two men who opened fire on him as he sat in his car in the capital, Makhachkala.

The decorated colonel was killed on the spot, though other reports said he was walking down a street.

OMON paramilitary officers are used as counterterrorist and riot police.

In Chechnya, one policeman was killed and seven wounded in a clash with about 10 armed men in the Vedeno region, where separatist rebels operate.

compiled from agency reports

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