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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mayoral Candidate Killed in Far East

Itar-TassMurder victim Dmitry Fotyanov
A mayoral candidate in the Far East was gunned down as he left his campaign headquarters, a regional official said Thursday.

Dmitry Fotyanov was shot at around noon Wednesday in the latest attack on a public figure in Russia.

Fotyanov was shot in the city of Dalnegorsk, Primorye region. Police said attackers used an assault rifle equipped with a silencer, Interfax reported.

In their investigation, law enforcement officials are focusing on whether the gunmen sought to keep Fotyanov from running in a runoff mayoral election scheduled for next week, said Irina Nomokonova, an official with the Primorye regional prosecutor's office.

Russia has seen several high-profile murders in recent weeks, including the killings in Moscow of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov and investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.

While on a lesser scale than in the turbulent 1990s, contract killings still occur regularly in Russia, where business conflicts often turn violent and the government is seeking closer control over economic activity. The murders are almost never solved.