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Homeland Security

Investigators detain suspects in murders of S.Russian officials

RIA Novosti

12/03/2009 13:09 MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - Investigators have detained three suspects in a series of high profile murders of officials committed late last year in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of North Ossetia, Russia's top investigator said on Thursday.

Nine people are suspected of involvement in killings of the mayor of the republic's capital Vladikavkaz, a former mayor and his driver, as well as a local police chief and his son, the head of the Investigation Committee at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, Alexander Bastrykin, said.

The remaining six suspects have been put on the international wanted list. They have been charged with premeditated murder, and face 20 years or life in prison.

"The members of the criminal group put on the international wanted list are unemployed Russian citizens Ivan Bagayev, Alexander Dzhussoyev, Temur Kudziyev, Inal Zasseyev, Givi Slonov, Murat Gabeyev," Bastrykin said.

Vladikavkaz Mayor Vitaly Karayev is believed to have been killed by a sniper as he got into his car outside his house last November on his way to work. Although he was rushed to hospital bodyguards, he died of a bullet wound to the heart.

A month later Kazbek Pagiyev, who was the mayor of Vladikavkaz for five years until 2007, was killed along with his driver when unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car.

On October 1, the head of a criminal investigation department in Vladikavkaz was killed when unknown assailants opened fire on his car. His 20-year-old son was also killed in the attack.

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