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Motherland Campaigners Killed In Siberia

27 September 2004 -- Two campaigners from Russia's Motherland Party were shot dead in the Siberian city of Irkutsk in what the party's leader today called political murders.

Irkutsk police said today that Marina Marakhovskaya and Yan Travinskii were killed overnight by unknown assailants.

The two were working for Motherland's campaign for the regional legislature ahead of elections slated for 10 October.

Motherland leader Dmitrii Rogozin said in remarks on Russia's NTV television that it was a political murder and an attempt to demoralize party representatives.

Rogozin said some people with links to the authorities could be interested in removing Motherland as a political force, but Rogozin did not name any one specifically.