Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder Gasan Magomedov died of his wounds after his car was sprayed with machine gun fire
Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder Gasan Magomedov died of his wounds after his car was sprayed with machine gunfireAnzhi Makhachkala Football Club

A footballer for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala has been shot dead near his home in Russia's North Caucasus region.

Gasan Magomedov, 20, died from his injuries on Saturday after his car was sprayed with bullets fired from a machine gun while he was driving home.

Anzhi said the motive for the attack is unclear, and no arrests have been made. There were no reports of any other casualties.

The club sent its "deepest condolences" to the Magomedov family. who was a midfielder in the club's youth and reserve teams.

Magomedov who was a midfielder in the club's youth and reserve teams.

Sergey Korablev, chief executive of Anzhi, said: "We grieve together with everyone who was dear to Gasan. I hope the police quickly find the killers and they suffer just punishment."

The region of Dagestan where the football club is based has become the focus of Islamist activity.

The North Caucasus lies towards the main ridge of the Caucasus Mountains, which is commonly considered to be the border between Europe and Asia.

The region is home to dozens of ethnicities and fierce gun battles between Russian security forces and rebels are not uncommon.

As many as 300 people from Dagestan are believed to be fighting for the Islamic State (Isis), and about 10 returnees have reportedly been killed in Russian anti-terror operations.

Under the financing of billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, Anzhi has contested the Russian Premier League title in recent years, spending huge amounts of money on star players such as former Brazilian player Roberto Carlos, Chelsea winger Willian and striker Samuel Eto'o, who was reportedly paid around £350,000 a week.

Under Kerimov's ownership, Anzhi reached Europe twice and played against the likes of Liverpool. But when the tycoon withdrew his support, Anzhi was relegated to the second tier with the worst record in the whole of European football.

For several years, the club had a policy of basing its star players in Russia's capital city Moscow in a bid to protect them from Dagestan's security risks.