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Former Chechen deputy mayor gunned down in Moscow-2


(Recasts lead, throughout, adds details, background in last four paras)

MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - A former deputy mayor of Chechnya's capital, Grozny, was gunned down in Moscow overnight in what police are treating as a contract killing, a police source said on Thursday.

Gilani Shepiyev, 36, was shot dead near the entrance to his home in Moscow at around 1:00 a.m. (22:00 GMT). The killer shot Shepiyev twice with a gun fitted with a silencer before making his escape apparently along with an accomplice in a car, a police official said.

"The killing is a contract murder and is directly linked to the victim's former activities," the source said.

The dead Chechen official supervised, between 2004 and 2006, law enforcement agencies in the North Caucasus republic, which saw two Kremlin campaigns against separatists. He moved to Moscow after being seriously injured in an assassination attempt in central Grozny in 2006.

This is the third high-profile killing of a Chechen in the Russian capital since September 2008.

Ruslan Yamadayev, a former member of the Russian parliament's lower house, was gunned down in central Moscow in late September. He was a member of the family opposed to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov has denied any involvement in the killing.

Movladi Baisarov, former commander of a special Chechen police force unit, who was wanted in the republic on suspicion of involvement in kidnappings and murders, was killed in Moscow in November, when Chechen police officers tried to arrest him.

Russia's top investigating body at the Prosecutor General's Office has launched an investigation into Thursday's murder.

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