A gunman has shot dead a prominent journalist in Daghestan, the latest murder of a leading public figure in the troubled Russian Caucasus region.
Khadzhimurad Kamalov, the editor and publisher of the Daghestan weekly newspaper "Chernovik," was killed last night outside the newspaper's office in the city of Makhachkala.
Kamalov's newspaper has reported extensively on police abuses in the fight against an Islamist insurgency originating in neighboring Chechnya that has spread across the Caucasus.
Daghestani President Magomedsalam Magomedov, speaking in Makhachkala, called the killing "a great loss."
Rights activist Tanya Lokshina, from the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said the killing was "payback" for journalistic work in the region.
"The North Caucasus is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. And in past few years, many independent journalists, citizens and activists have died -- died as payback for their work in the North Caucasus," Lokshina said.
And therefore, everything that's happened, everything that happened with Kamalov, it's on one side a horrible shock, but on the other side, it was almost even expected."
Rights group Amnesty International in a statement called the killing "terrible" and called on Russia to act to protect journalists in Daghestan.
The OSCE condemned the killing and urged authorities to protect journalists. The pan-European rights watchdog's media representiative, Dunja Mijatovic (eds: a woman) said she was "alarmed" by the murder.
with agency reports