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United Russia Official Killed In Kabardino-Balkaria

Russian investigators say unknown assailants have shot dead a ruling party official in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, said two gunmen burst into Boris Zherukov's office in Nalchik, the republic's capital, on December 25 and shot him twice in the head.

Zherukov was head of the United Russia party faction in the local parliament.

He was also rector of the local State Agricultural University.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Markin said an investigation is underway and did not rule out the involvement of militants.

Islamic militants in Russia's restive North Caucasus region stage near-daily shootings and bomb attacks targeting officials and police.

The violence is fueled by joblessness, corruption, and police brutality.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax

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