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Uzbek Jewish Leader Killed In Hit-And-Run

Authorities have warned that it is "dangerous" to speculate that the car accident wasn't accidental (RFE/RL) 28 February 2006 -- A Jewish leader has died in Uzbekistan after what authorities describe as a traffic accident.

Avraam Yagudayev was found in Tashkent with head injuries and in a coma last week, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run accident. He died in hospital from his injuries on 25 February.

Yagudayev was the head of a synagogue in Tashkent.

The circumstances led some Uzbek media to speculate that his death may have been motivated by anti-Semitism.

Uzbek religious authorities say his death was accidental and that it is "dangerous" to suggest it could have been a political or anti-semitic act. They say such speculation could spark religious conflict.

Authorities in Tashkent say that they have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.


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