Daghestan's interior minister shot dead in south Russia
MAKHACHKALA, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - The interior minister of the
southern Russian republic of Daghestan was assassinated on Friday
afternoon while at a wedding reception in the capital, Makhachkala.
Lt. Gen. Adilgerei Magomedtagirov, 52, was wounded in the heart and died
in hospital without regaining consciousness, an Interior Ministry
Preliminary reports said Magomedtagirov was shot when a sniper opened
fire from the rooftop of a neighboring building at him and several other
high-level officials as they walked out of the restaurant at
approximately 1:00 pm [10:00 GMT].
Meanwhile, a source in the Interior Ministry said there could have been
the second sniper who fired from a building on the opposite side of the
street. The source said that Magomedtagirov's bodyguards returned fire.
Several Interior Ministry officials were hospitalized after the
incident, including the head of the anti-tax crime department,
Abduldzhapar Magomedov, the father of the bride.
Abdurazak Abakarov, head of logistics at the ministry, also died in
hospital while four other members of the group have undergone surgery
and are said to be in a serious condition. One man was discharged after
Security in Makhachkala has been tightened following the incident.
Daghestan has seen a rise in violence linked both to militants based in
neighboring Chechnya and local criminal groups.
Investigators consider the minister's "professional activity" as the
main reason for his assassination. A group of specialists from the
Russian Interior Ministry's criminal investigation department has been
sent to probe the killing.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Prosecutor General Yury
Chaika and Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to take direct control of
This is the third assassination attempt on Magomedtagirov, who had been
the interior minister since 1998. The minister was known for his high
profile stance on militants and large-scale anti-terrorist operations.
In February 2007, Magomedtagirov's car was hit by two bomb explosions in
Makhachkala. Although the minister was not injured, two police officers
died in the attack.
His car was also attacked in August 2006, when two bombs were set off en
route to Buynaksk, a town in Daghestan. The minister was unhurt in the
incident but three police officers died.