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Television director killed in Dagestan; journalist assaulted in St. Petersburg

(GDF/IFEX) - According to a 13 May 2010 report from the Sergokalinsky district of Dagestan, Sayid Ibragimov, director of the local television station TBS, died on his way to restore a TV re-transmitter damaged by militants' fire one day earlier. Ibragimov's car, which was carrying a team of repairmen, and an accompanying police jeep were ambushed near the village of Ayazi. Gunmen set off a bomb in front of the vehicles and then opened fire on them, killing five men, among them Ibragimov, and wounding four others.

According to Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigating Committee under the prosecutor's office, five people died in the explosion and three patrol policemen who guarded the repairmen were injured. The police have opened a criminal investigation under Articles 105, 317 and 222 of the RF Criminal Code on charges of homicide, attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The ambush occurred only a week after GDF reported on the murder of Shamil Aliyev, founder and head-manager of the radio stations Priboi and Vatan and director of the television network TNT-Makhachkala, whose car came under fire from unidentified attackers who fled the scene of the crime.

In a separate incident, journalist Pavel Netupsky, of the online publication Fontanka.ru ( http://www.fontanka.ru/ ) was attacked in St. Petersburg on 13 May. He was returning home at about 5:30 p.m., when he received a heavy blow to the head from an unknown assailant. Luckily, a neighbour was able to scare off the attacker, who instantly fled together with an accomplice who was waiting for him.

Netupsky had been receiving threats in connection with his publications. It therefore appears that this was a premeditated attack linked to the journalist's professional activities. The police are considering opening a criminal investigation into the incident.

This is the third such attack on Netupsky. After the first two, which also appear to have been premeditated, law enforcers failed to track down the perpetrators. At GDF's urging, on more than one occasion the prosecutor's office refused to terminate the investigation and returned the cases to the police for further inquiry.

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