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Regional Prosecutor Shot Dead In Armenia, Motive Unclear

(RFE/RL) August 25, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A regional Armenian state prosecutor has been shot dead while walking home in the northern city of Vanadzor.

RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports that Lori Region Prosecutor Albert Ghazarian was gunned down near midnight on August 24.

"Albert Ghazarian was shot four times -- in the back, neck, and shoulders," Sona Truzian, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General's Office, told RFE/RL. "Four Makarov bullet casings were found on the scene. A task force led by Deputy Prosecutor-General Mnatsakan Sargsian and Deputy Police Chief Armen Yeritsian has been sent to Vanazor to investigate the case."

Truzian added that a criminal investigation has been launched involving the police, the National Security Service, and the Prosecutor-General's Office. She said they are looking into possible motives for the killing but declined to elaborate.

According to Armenian Service correspondent Karine Simonian, Ghazarian was accompanied home by regional police chief Georgi Grigorian and Garnik Ghabuzian, a neighborhood resident.

Ghabuzian, who said he witnessed the attack, said it occurred shortly after Grigorian went home. Ghabuzian was unharmed.

Regnum news agency reports that Armenian President Robert Kocharian has expressed his personal condolences to Ghazarian's family, saying that "the attack is not only against Albert Ghazarian, but against the entire justice system."

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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