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Senior police official killed in Russia's North Caucasus

MAKHACHKALA, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - A senior police officer has been assassinated in the capital of Russia's southern republic of Daghestan, a Russian Interior Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Gunmen fired automatic weapons at a Mercedes carrying Arip Aliyev, police chief in Daghestan's Buinaksk District, in Makhachkala at about 11:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. GMT). Aliyev, who suffered head and chest injuries, died at the scene, a ministry spokesman said.

Police are currently searching for the attackers.

Daghestan, which neighbors Chechnya, frequently experiences militant violence and contract killings related to organized crime.

A police officer was killed and a civilian wounded last Thursday, when unknown assailants attacked a police checkpoint in the republic.

In Chechnya's capital, Grozny, police said on Tuesday they had prevented a terrorist act. A powerful homemade explosive device was found in an open-air cafe on Monday. The device was hidden in a saucepan and was to be activated by cell phone, a police source said.

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