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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Political Shootout in Dagestan Leaves 2 Dead

Two people were killed and four injured in a shootout between political rivals in Dagestan ahead of Sunday's regional parliamentary elections.

Shooting began after a fight broke out last Friday between a candidate for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party and a second candidate for the Union of Right Forces party, or SPS, and their supporters, Kommersant reported Monday.

Magomed Aliyev, the United Russia representative and head of the Dakhadayevsky district, clashed with Nukh Nukhov, an SPS candidate and head of continuing education in the district. Both of them are candidates in the Dakhadayevsky district in the March 11 regional parliamentary elections, the newspaper reported.

The skirmish took place on a road between Urkarakh and Kubachi in the republic's Kurbiliu district. Two people were arrested, including a police officer from the district. The injured were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, the newspaper reported.

The two rivals had been involved in a bitter dispute since 1997, Kommersant reported. The newspaper also reported that the two men were cousins and that most of those involved in the shooting were relatives.

But a spokeswoman for SPS said Nukhov and another candidate, Nasrulla Abdulkadyrov, were attacked in their car and that no fight had occurred. Abdulkadyrov was killed in the attack, she said.

SPS had its party list stricken from the ballot last January after three of its candidates withdrew from the race in one district. Under regional law, however, the party can still field candidates in district elections.

Election officials in January also barred the Communist Party from contesting the election.

Central Elections Commission chief Alexander Veshnyakov was to travel to Dagestan Monday to inspect preparations for the election, Interfax reported.