Ex-Mayor of Russia's north Ossetia shot dead
The former mayor of one of the largest cities in Russia's restive North Caucasus region was shot dead.
The former mayor of one of the largest cities in Russia's restive North Caucasus region was shot dead on Wednesday just weeks after his successor in the post was assassinated, local officials said.
Former mayor of Vladikavkaz, Kazbek Pagiyev, and his driver were killed near Pagiyev's home in the city on Wednesday morning, said an official in the press service of the regional government.
"It appears he was shot as he got into (his) car," the official said. Police were alerted to the killing at 10:50 a.m. (0750 GMT), the official said.
The shooting was the latest in a series of high-profile attacks in the North Caucasus, a mountainous area on Russia's southern border
"This was not just a sniper's shot, but machine-gun fire. They shot through the car several times," a second local official said.
Vladikavkaz is the capital of North Ossetia, a mainly Christian region which has been caught up in a wave of violence that began with a separatist rebellion in nearby Chechnya in the 1990s and has since spread to neighbouring regions.
Pagiyev's replacement as mayor, Vitaly Karayev, died in a gun attack on Nov. 26, three weeks after a suspected suicide bomber blew herself up next to a minibus outside the city's market, killing 12 people.
Pagiyev resigned a few days ago as deputy head of the North Ossetian regional government, local officials said.
North Ossetia lies just across the border from Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region, which was the focus of a brief war between Moscow and Tbilisi in August.
Reuters Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2008, 12:34