CHERKESSK, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - A Muslim cleric has died of wounds after an assassination attempt on his life in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Karachayevo-Circassia, the Coordination Center of North Caucasus Muslims said on Sunday.
The assassination attempt occurred on Sunday in the town of Cherkessk near a filling station when unidentified assailants opened fire at the car of Ismail Bostanov, deputy chairman of the spiritual board of Muslims of Karachayevo-Circassia and Stavropol.
Ismail Berdiyev, chairman of the Coordination Center of North Caucasus Muslims, said the murder was linked with the dead cleric's religious activity.
"In my opinion, Bostanov was murdered only on religious grounds. He was not a businessman and did not engage in any other affairs as he was a deeply religious person, and I have no other versions," he said.
Bostanov was rector of the Islamic Institute in Karachayevo-Circassia for more than 10 years.
The Russian North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and Karachayevo-Circassia have seen an upsurge of militant violence of late, with frequent attacks on police and officials.