Senior judge wounded in Russia's Dagestan province

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2013 1:40 PM
Senior judge wounded in Russia's Dagestan province

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (Reuters) - A gunman gravely wounded a senior judge in Russia's North Caucasus province of Dagestan on Wednesday, nine months after another member of the region's highest court was shot and killed, police said.

Dagestan Supreme Court judge Mukhtar Shapiyev and his son were hospitalized with severe wounds after the shooting in the provincial capital, Makhachkala, the regional Interior Ministry branch said.

Mostly Muslim Dagestan, in southern Russia on the Caspian Sea, is beset by frequent shootings and bomb attacks, many targeting police, state officials or moderate clerics. Another Supreme Court judge, Magomed Magomedov, was killed in January.

Most of the violence is blamed on an Islamist insurgency stemming from post-Soviet separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya. Some is linked to business disputes and tension between rivals in a province shared by dozens of ethnic groups.

Militants in the North Caucasus say they are fighting for a separate Islamic state in the strip of provinces along Russia's southern border. Rights activists say the insurgency is fuelled by poverty and anger at police tactics.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Angus MacSwan)