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Medvedev Fires Dagestan's Top Cop

President Dmitry Medvedev fired Dagestan's interior minister on Wednesday, hours after the head of the local Makhachkala-TV television company was shot dead in Makhachkala.

Medvedev replaced Ali Magomedov, who had headed the ministry since July 2009, with his deputy Abdurashid Magomedov, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The shuffle took place shortly after Magomedvagif Sultanmagomedov, a former senior cleric in the republic's Spiritual Board of Muslims, a pro-government administrative body regulating religious activities, was attacked by unknown assailants in his car on the first day of Ramadan, the sacred month of fasting in Islam, Interfax reported. He died in a hospital.

An unidentified man who was also injured in the attack was hospitalized in serious condition.

Police have opened an investigation.

Dagestan has been a hotbed of violent crime and extremism since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The situation has rapidly deteriorated over the past three years, with suicide terrorist bombers becoming active in Dagestan and hitting targets as far away as Moscow, including the metro suicide bombings in March.

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