Russian oil executive wounded in assassination bid

A senior Russian oil executive was seriously wounded on Thursday in an assassination attempt in the Siberian city of Nefteyugansk, local police said.

Unknown gunmen fired several shots at Sergei Burov, deputy director of Yuganskneftegaz, the former core unit of the stricken oil giant Yukos, deputy police chief Sergei Yorbatovsky said.

He underwent surgery for bullet wounds to the stomach and was in a grave but stable condition, the police official told The Associated Press by telephone.

Burov occupied his post prior to the December 2004 forced auction of Yuganskneftegaz, which transferred ownership from oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Yukos empire to a shell company later acquired by state oil firm Rosneft.

Khodorkovsky, whose 11-month trial on fraud and tax evasion is drawing to a close, said in a statement through his lawyers that he wished his former manager a speedy recovery.

"He feels very sorry for a person he knew well, as an honest individual who helped a great deal in difficult times, and he wishes him a swift recovery," Khodorkovsky's lawyer Yelena Liptser said.

Yuganskneftegaz produces around a million barrels of oil a day, the same as OPEC member Indonesia.


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