Islamic teacher shot dead in Russia’s North Caucasus

MOSCOW: Masked gunmen have shot dead an Islamic teacher after bursting into his home in Russia’s Dagestan, in the latest such killing in the volatile region, investigators said on Friday.

“At around 11:00 pm on Thursday, unidentified attackers in masks entered the house of 32-year-old Magomed Zakaryayev, the teacher at the madrasa in the village of Nechayevka and fired several shots,” the Investigative Committee, which probes major cases in the country, said in a statement.

Zakaryayev died at the scene, it said. A murder and arms trafficking probe has been launched over the killing.

“Investigators suspect the crime was committed by members of an illegal armed group due to the religious activity of the murdered man,” a spokesman for the Committee’s Dagestan branch told the state RIA Novosti news agency.

At least 20 Islamic leaders and teachers have been killed in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus since 2009, RIA Novosti reported.