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Russian imam's suspected killers detained

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July 20, 2012, 10:04 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Emergency Situations Ministry rescuers examine a car of Tatarstan's chief mufti Ildus Faizov after a bomb attack in Kazan, about 700 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, central Russia, Thursday, July 19, 2012. A top Muslim cleric in Russia's Tatarstan province was shot dead and another was wounded by a car bomb in two attacks that local leaders said were related to the priests' criticism of radical Islamists, investigators said Thursday. Chief mufti Ildus Faizov was wounded in the leg after an explosive device ripped through his car in central Kazan.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors say four people suspected of killing a top Muslim cleric and wounding another in Tatarstan province have been detained.

Valiulla Yakupov, the deputy to the province's chief mufti, was gunned down Thursday in the regional capital of Kazan. Minutes later, chief mufti Ildus Faizov suffered leg wounds after an explosive device ripped through his car.

Both clerics were known to be critics of the radical Islamist groups that have mushroomed in recent years in this predominantly Muslim Volga River province of 4 million people. Faizov has also been criticized by Tatarstan media for allegedly profiting from tours he organized for Muslim pilgrims.

The Investigative Committee said Friday that one of the suspects owned a company that organized hajj pilgrimages, and another one heads a religious institution in Tatarstan.

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