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Armenian Serving With Russian Border Guards Found Hanged

GYUMRI, Armenia -- An Armenian man who served with Russian border guards in the former Soviet republic has been found hanged after going missing.

Armenian media reports cited the Shirak regional prosecutor's office as saying on March 9 that Artur Afian's body was found behind a shop in the northwestern town of Gyumri, where the unit he served with under a contract is based.

Afian, 26, went missing on February 21.

Gyumri is the site of Russia's military base in Armenia, Moscow's main foothold in the strategic South Caucasus region.

A private from the base, Valery Permyakov, is accused of murdering seven members of an Armenian family in Gyumri on January 12.

The killings sparked large protests by Armenians demanding Permyakov be handed to their country for trial.

But Permyakov is in custody at the Russian base and will be tried there.

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