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Deputy Imam Slain In North Caucasus

A deputy imam of a village in Russia's Stavropol Krai region in the North Caucasus has been slain.

The Spiritual Directorate of the North Caucasus Muslims in the city of Pyatigorsk said on August 20 that Zamirbek Makhmutov was shot dead by unknown assailants in the village of Kara-Tyube overnight.

Officials at the regional Investigative Committee confirmed that the body of the 32-year imam had been found in the village with at least two gunshot wounds at about 8.00 am on August 20.

Makhmutov was a graduate of the Islamic University in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan.

Imams appointed by officially registered Spiritual Directorates of Muslims across Russia usually support the government's policies and propagate moderate Islam.

They are often attacked by radical Islamist groups, who call for separation from Russia and the establishment of an Islamic state in the region.

Based on reporting by, Kommersant and Interfax

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