Three arrested in Russian scribe's murder in Tajikistan

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Moscow, Mar 30 (UNI) Police in Tajikistan have arrested three suspects in the murder of Russian television journalist Ilyas Shurpayev, a source in the Tajik Interior Ministry said today.

Shurpayev, a reporter from Russia's volatile North Caucasus republic of Daghestan who worked for Russia's state Channel One, was stabbed and strangled in his apartment here on March 21.

''Interior Ministry officers yesterday detained three Tajik nationals suspected of murdering Shurpayev. The Mukhamadiyev brothers were arrested yesterday morning in the Vakhdat district, while the third suspect, Masrurdzhon Yatimov, was detained last night in the Shakhrinav district,'' the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the source as saying.

Yatimov is alleged to be the main suspect in the murder, the source said, adding ''Shurpayev's mobile telephone and watch were found during a search in his house.'' On the same day when Shurpayev's body was found, head of Daghestan's state-run television station, Gadzhi Abashilov, was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car.

Investigators have linked Abashilov's murder to his professional activities, but the motivation behind Shurpayev's murder remains uncertain.

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