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Muslim Teacher Killed in Dagestan

A teacher in a Muslim school was shot dead in the volatile Dagestan republic hours after a government official was severely beaten in the republic's capital.

Magomed Biyarslanov, who taught at a madrassa in the village of Gubden, was shot in the chest eight times by unidentified assailants in his own home late Sunday evening, Interfax reported Monday, citing local law enforcement.

He later died from his wounds, and his attackers have so far evaded capture.

Investigators have opened a criminal cases on charges of murder and illegal weapons trafficking, although police had named no suspects in Biyarslanov's killing by midday Monday. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.

The same day, Public Chamber member Absalitdin Murzayev was hospitalized after being attacked by four unidentified assailants close to his home in Makhachkala. No suspects have been named in that attack either.

Russian authorities have made few tangible gains in their struggle to combat a militant Islamist insurgency in Dagestan, where attacks on law enforcement officers and religious leaders are a near-daily occurrence.

The republic, beset by high youth unemployment and deep-seated corruption, is among the most dangerous places in Europe.

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