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Deputy head of Russian central bank shot-Ifax

Written by: Staff

MOSCOW, Sep 13 (Reuters) The first deputy chairman of Russia's Central Bank is in critical condition in hospital after being shot, Interfax news agency quoted law enforcement sources as saying today.

Andrei Kozlov's driver was killed in the attack in Moscow, the agency said. Police and the Central Bank could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kozlov, 41, is in charge of banking supervision at the Central Bank. Interfax quoted medical sources as saying that he had serious bullet wounds to his chest and stomach and surgeons were preparing to operate.

The agency said two gunmen attacked Kozlov as he arrived at a sports stadium to watch an amateur soccer match.

''We are looking at all possible versions, including (Kozlov's) professional activities, mistaken identity, and his personal relations,'' Interfax quoted Moscow's chief prosecutor Yuri Syomin as saying.

Under Kozlov's supervision, the Central Bank cancelled the licenses of a large number of banks that were suspected of involvement in money laundering.

He is married and has three children, according to a biography on the Central Bank's Web site www.cbr.ru.

He became the bank's first deputy chairman in 1997, then left two years later for a stint in the private sector. He was reappointed to the job in April 2002.

Reuters VJ RN0208

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