The rector of a theology institute in Russia's mainly-Muslim Dagestan republic was shot by unknown assailants near his home on Tuesday, local police said.
Rector Maksud Ibnugadzharovich Sadikov was one of the founders of the first academic institutions in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region to offer both secular and religious teachings.
"According to preliminary information, Sadikov and the person accompanying him were shot by and unknown assailant by the entrance of his house, when they were getting out of a car," the source said.
Local police later confirmed that the person accompanying Sadikov was his nephew.
Sadikov had been rector of the Institute of Theology and International Relations in Dagestani capital Makhachkala since 2003 and tried to promote education as the greatest weapon in the fight against religious extremism.
He also headed a project to translate the Koran into Russian and the editorial board of the Imam Shamil encyclopedia. He was involved in politics and held various federal government posts in the 1990s.
Investigators are working at the scene of the incident.
Terrorist attacks and shootings are common in the North Caucasus, were the Kremlin is fighting an Islamist insurgency, which led to two wars in Chechnya in the 1990s.
MAKHACHKALA, June 7 (RIA Novosti)