06:49 GMT +3 hours24 November 2014
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Top judge assassinated in S. Russia - police

Russia
(updated 18:25 28.10.2014)
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A top judge in Russia's volatile southern republic of Ingushetia died in hospital after her vehicle was attacked on Wednesday, the region's Interior Ministry said.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - A top judge in Russia's volatile southern republic of Ingushetia died in hospital after her vehicle was attacked on Wednesday, the region's Interior Ministry said.

"Deputy Supreme Court judge [Aza] Gazgireyeva died on the operating table of her wounds," a ministry official said.

Gunmen opened fire from automatic weapons at the judge's official vehicle in the regional center Nazran. At least four other people, who were passing by in their car at the time of the shooting, were injured.

Earlier reports said three people were wounded.

Russia's North Caucasus has been hit by a wave of violence, with attacks on officials, police and troops being blamed on militants linked to separatists based in Chechnya, local criminal groups or clan rivalries.

The killing came after gunmen attacked two police stations with guns and mortars in nearby Daghestan overnight, killing one police officer. The republic's interior minister was killed last week.

President Dmitry Medvedev visited Daghestan on Tuesday, urging measures to curb violence.

Ingushetia's president said on Wednesday Gazgireyeva's killing might have been over an investigation into the 2004 militant attack on the republic's security bodies, when 78 people were killed and 114 wounded.

"The killing could be over the investigation into that case," Yunusbek Yevkurov said. "She had received threats before."

Russia's top investigation body, Investigation Committee, said it had opened a probe into the killing and dispatched a team of investigators to Nazran.