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Tajik Police Investigate Killing of Political Leader Osimi

Dushanbe, July 29 (RFE/RL) -- This morning's murder of Mohammed Osimi, a prominent scientist and politicial leader, is being investigated by Tajik law-enforcement officials.

Itar-Tass said police are treating the killing as a terrorist act and say it is reminiscent of last May's killing in Dushanbe of the head of Tajikistan's Medical University and his deputy. No suspects have been arrested in that double murder.

Police said Osimi, 76, was shot dead near his Dushanbe home between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m local time today. Itar-Tass quoted police saying the killing took place inside the building of school number seven in Dushanbe's northern October district.

It is not clear why Osimi was inside the building at the time. Police said the school is on the road Osimi used to walk each day on his way to work.

Osimi was a former president of Tajikistan's Academy of Sciences, and he headed the Payvand Organization, whose aim is to unite all Tajik communities abroad. Osimi had been active in trying to mediate some of Tajikistan's internal conflicts.

Another member of the Osimi family, a prominent surgeon, was killed in Dushanbe in 1994.