Assailant shoots and wounds regional politician in southern Russian region of Dagestan

An assailant shot and seriously wounded a regional politician in the troubled Russian region of Dagestan, police said Wednesday.

Timur Omayev, a representative in the legislature in the district of Novolaksk, was attacked Tuesday night on the street where he lives in the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala, said Marina Rasulova, spokeswoman for the Dagestani Interior Ministry.

He sustained four bullet wounds and was hospitalized in serious condition, Rasulova said.

Omayev was previously the chief of administration of the Novolaksk region, which borders on war-shattered Chechnya and was one of the Dagestani regions targeted in a 1999 raid by Chechnya-based rebels.

Also Tuesday, the Dagestani Supreme Court opened the trial of a suspect in the May 9, 2002 bombing of a Victory Day parade in the town of Kaspiisk that killed 43 people including 12 children. Russian authorities blamed adherents of the conservative Wahhabi strain of Islam, whom they accused of trying to instill fear in the regional police and political leadership and fuel instability in the region.

Khanali Umakhanov, a resident of Makhachkala, was the third suspect to be arrested in the attack.

Associated Press

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