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Western Union Regional Director Found Dead In Uzbekistan

TASHKENT -- The regional director of Western Union Financial Services in Central Asia and Azerbaijan, Jalil Khaydarov, was found dead last week in Tashkent, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

A member of his family, who asked to remain anonymous, told RFE/RL that Khaydarov, 34, was found dead in his apartment.

Another relative told RFE/RL that Khaydarov was beaten to death and that his death must have been a "contract killing."

He added that Khaydarov's body was taken to the morgue, but that family members were not informed about the findings of the postmortem on him.

One of Khaydarov's colleagues in the Western Union office in Tashkent confirmed his death. But she told RFE/RL that Khaydarov died of kidney problems.

One of Khaydarov's friends told RFE/RL that last month someone stabbed Khaydarov in the chest, but he survived. He added that after that attack Khaydarov was hiding at a friend's home.

Khaydarov's wife was working on expanding Western Union's operations in Kazakhstan.

The Western Union branch in Uzbekistan opened in 2004. It cooperates with 23 banks and has more than 1,000 branch offices in the country.

Every year several million Uzbek labor migrants send some $8 billion home in remittances via Western Union.