A top Islamic preacher was shot dead in the Muslim-dominated Tatarstan province of Russia on Thursday. In what appears to be a closely related incident, a car bomb wounded another Muslim cleric on the same day. The incidents took place at Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, a day ahead of the Ramadan month.
Valiulla Yakupov was shot dead at the entrance of his home, according to the Federal Investigative Committee in the country. He was heading back home when he was shot.
Yakupov was a deputy of Tatarstan's mufti Ildis Faizov, the one who was injured in the car bomb attack. Faizov was injured in his leg and admitted to hospital.
The Investigative Committee was looking into the incident from all possible angles, according to its spokesperson.
According to reports, both clerics have been strong critics of the ideologies of Salafism, a relatively stricter version of Islam. Faizov came under media criticism for allegedly profiting from organising pilgrimage tours for Muslims, reported the Associated Press.
Islamic militants have been fighting against the authorities to carve a separate region for themselves in the Russian border and amid this Islamic leaders also come under attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Tatarstan region has a population of four million, where more than half of them are Sunni Muslims.
The province has been an important place for Muslims in Russia, a country with a majority of Orthodox Christians.