Deputy Russian central bank chief dies after shooting

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The first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia died Thursday morning after gunmen opened fire on him with automatic weapons late Wednesday, hospital officials said.

MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - The first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia died Thursday morning after gunmen opened fire on him with automatic weapons late Wednesday, hospital officials said.

Andrei Kozlov, 41, was attacked as he left a sports stadium in Moscow. His bodyguard was killed and the banker had to undergo emergency surgery after he was shot in the head.

"The patient died early in the morning without regaining consciousness," a hospital source said.

At least two Russian dailies suggested Thursday morning that the attacks may have been connected to the Central Bank's campaign to clean up the banking sector. Kozlov, who was married with three children, was in charge of banking oversight and was considered to have taken a tough line. Around a dozen banks have had their licenses revoked this year for failing to comply with banking laws and Central Bank regulations, as well as for violating money laundering and financing of terrorism laws.

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