Journalists Attacked, Killed in North Caucasus

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- One journalist was shot and killed and another was left with a fractured skull after a beating in the North Caucasus, and police and co-workers said Wednesday that the two men were likely targeted for their work.

The attacks on an Islamic TV reporter and an opposition newspaper editor come just days after Magomed Yevloyev, owner of the opposition web site, was shot by police.

In the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala, Islamic TV reporter Telman Alishayev died at a hospital Wednesday, one day after being shot by two men as he sat in his car, Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said. Alishayev, who hosted a religious-themed program in Dagestan, had produced documentaries and written extensively about Wahhabism, said Shamil Guseinov, an Interior Ministry official.

Meanwhile, police in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, said three people assaulted Miloslav Bitokov outside his home Tuesday, along with another man. Bitokov was hospitalized with skull injuries.

Colleagues at Bitokov's newspaper Gazeta Yuga said he had been threatened previously for publishing articles critical of local authorities.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Tuesday that Yevloyev's death needed to be investigated.