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Terror attack killed Dagestani cleric: Police

Police believe terrorists were responsible for a car blast which killed the country's top Islamic cleric, Kuramagomed Ramazanov, in the southern Russia’s Republic of Dagestan. The explosion took place at the central mosque in the regional capital, Makhach

The destroyed car was covered with the blood of murdered Dagestani Deputy Mufti Kuramagomed Ramazanov and his brother. The radio-controlled bomb was placed by the roadside. When it was detonated it killed the two men inside the car and a passing pedestrian was badly injured.

“I saw the explosion, and the car was still moving and crashed into the wall. And five minutes later another explosion occurred,” said a witness.

Those, who oppose the Islamic clerics, accuse the main Spiritual Body in this predominantly Muslim area of harsh aversion to other ways of prayer that exist in Islam. They are also angry with the way the Islamic Spiritual Body co-operates with the Interior Ministry. The clerics call all those against them religious extremists and terrorists. Officials in turn abuse their power by putting in prison all who the clerics refer to as radical. 

“The deseased was a ferocious opponent of religious extremists and terrorists” Magomed Saltanov, an Islamic cleric, said.

The Prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into two cases – the murder and the illegal storage of weapons.

“One of the motives could be the social work of the murdered cleric,” noted Gamlet Jamalutdinov, Assistant Prosecutor of Dagestan.

Dagestan, bordering Chechnya, is home to more than 30 ethnic groups. It has been affected by shootings, bombings and other violence since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Some of the terrorist attacks have been said to be linked to the Chechen militants. But, according to the officials, they mostly are battles between local criminal clans.