Deputy Mufti Shot Dead in North Ossetia, Russia

Ibragim Dudarov, a Muslim deputy mufti in the North Caucasus republic of North Ossetia, Russia, was murdered late Wednesday night while driving home near Vladikavkaz.

According to reports, he was shot five times from close range after stopping his vehicle, reason for stopping his vehicle is still unknown.

At this time, the only thing that police have determined for certain is that Dudarov stopped his vehicle along a dark road near his home in the village of Chmi, leading to speculation that he fell into a trap. The number of assailants is still undetermined.

Dudarov reportedly had peaceful relations with his fellow residents in Chmi, where he relocated several months ago to be closer to his father. He became a deputy mufti in October 2011.

“Ibragim was a conflict-free man. He was chosen specifically and killed for his faith. Only an enemy of Islam could have done this, to aggravate the situation in the region,” North Ossetian mufti Khadzhimurat Gatsalov said.

The regional branch of the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into the matter on charges of murder and illegal trafficking of weapons, Eduard Gusov, spokesman for the committee, told RIA-Novosti Thursday. The former charge carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison, and the latter three years.

This marks the seventh attack on Islamic leaders in Russia this year.