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Russian reporter's suspected killers detained in Tajikistan

Shurpayev, 32, a reporter for Russia's state-run TV network Channel One, was found dead March 21 in a Moscow apartment. He was from the southern Russian province of Dagestan. Photo: Itar-Tass

Tajik police have detained two men suspected of murdering a Russian television reporter who was found stabbed in a Moscow apartment with a belt around his neck, news agencies have reported.

The detained men are Tajik nationals, Interior Ministry spokesman Khaidar Makhmadiev said, according to the Associated Press (AP) . He said he could not identify them by name. Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies later quoted Makhmadiev as saying that a third man, identified as Masrudzhon Yatimov, had also been detained.

Ilyas Shurpayev, 32, a reporter for Russia's state-run TV network Channel One, was found dead March 21 in a rented Moscow apartment. He was from the southern Russian province of Dagestan. A doorman at his building said Shurpayev had called down to ask her to let in two young men of non-Slavic appearance. Police said the killers set the apartment on fire and took 100,000 rubles (US$4,100, €2,600).

On the day of Shurpayev's murder, unidentified gunmen shot and killed Gadzhi Abashilov, the head of Dagestan's state-controlled TV station, but officials said they did not believe the killings were related.

Shurpayev moved to Moscow early this year. Before it, he headed the office of reporters in Makhachkala. He reported about events from all the Caucasian hotspots — in Dagestan, Chechnya, Abkhazia, Ingushetia, and South Ossetia.

More than a dozen journalists have been slain in contract-style killings in Russia since 2000. Many appear to have been targeted for beatings and killings because of their attempts to dig into allegations of corruption. Killers have rarely been found.

Date posted: March 30, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 645