Moscow, 14 Dhul Hijja 1433 / 30 October 2012 (IINA/MINA) – Attackers have shot dead an imam and two of his male relations, as they drove to a mosque in the Russian North Caucasus region of Dagestan on Tuesday morning.
The cleric was named as Kalimulla Ibragimov, 49, who is said to have delivered sermons calling for peace. They were shot on their way to morning prayers, close to the imam’s home in the Caspian Sea town of Derbent, law enforcement sources told reporters.
Dagestan, a mainly Muslim region, has been gripped by an insurgency since 1999, when militants backed by fighters from neighboring Chechnya launched an offensive against Russian control. Three imams have been shot dead in the region since March, the Russian news website utro.ru reports. According to utro.ru, he “often gave sermons and made appeals for peace and Muslim unity”. The two other victims of the shooting, which occurred at around 06:30 (02:30 GMT), have been identified variously as Ibragimov’s sons, or one of his sons and his father. The killers escaped. (HA/IINA/MINA)