MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a case into the killing of North Ossetia's deputy mufti, Imam of the Vladikavkaz mosque Rasul Gamzatov, the committee said in a statement Sunday.
"On August 16, at 11:40 p.m. [19:40 GMT], by the entrance to the apartment complex on the Dovatora Avenue in Vladikavkaz, an unidentified person shot no less than seven times from an unspecified shotgun at the Deputy Mufti of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Rasul Gamzatov, who died at the accident scene from multiple gunshot wounds in the head and the torso," the committee said in the statement.
The mufti's previous deputy, Ibragim Dudarov, was also fatally shot by unknown people on his way home in December 2012. The investigation into the killing continues.
North Ossetia has a total of 20 mosques. In the past five years, the North Caucasus has seen several dozens of killings of and murder attempts at Muslim religious and public figures, mostly in Dagestan. Many of those cases are linked to the victims preaching traditional Islam, resented by extremists.