Police say a village leader and an elderly couple have been killed in a restive Russian province in the North Caucasus.
Vyacheslav Gasanov, a police spokesman in the republic of Dagestan, said village chief Rabadan Omarov in central Dagestan was killed late Thursday night when an unidentified man stormed his house and gunned him down with an assault rifle.
In southern Dagestan, a married couple in their 60s known, for having conservative Muslim beliefs, was stabbed to death by a man who attacked their house Thursday night.
Police suspect Muslim insurgents to be behind both killings.
Dagestan is plagued by almost daily violence that has spread through Russia's Caucasus region since the first war in Chechnya in 1994.