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Fifth suspect in attempt on mufti’s life detained

July 20, 2012, 17:19 UTC+3

In case suspicions are not confirmed the detained men will be immediately released

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MOSCOW, July 20 (Itar-Tass) — A fifth suspect in an attempt on the life of Ildus Khazrat Faizov, the Mufti of Tatarstan, has been detained, the Russian Investigative Committee reports on Friday.

“Investigative agencies of the Tatarstan department of the Russian Investigative Committee have detained Uzbek national Abdunozim Ataboyev, 36, registered in Kazan. He is suspected of an attempt on the life of republic’s Mufti Ildus Faizov,” spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said.

According to investigators, “shortly before the explosion of Faizov’s car, Ataboyev followed it in his car, and right after the explosion he rushed away from the scene,” Markin said.

Earlier on Friday, four men suspected of the murder of Valiulla Yakupov and an attempt on the life of Ildus Faizov in Kazan on July 19, were detained.

These are the chairman of the Idel-Hajj company’s board of directors, Rustem Gataullin (57), the head of Vakf parish, Kazan resident Murat Galleyev (39), resident of the republic’s Vysokogorsky district Airat Shakirov (41) and resident of the republic’s Laishev district, Azat Gainutdinov (31).

All of them are being questioned, Markin said. In case suspicions are not confirmed the detained men will be immediately released, he added. Investigators consider two main versions – a conflict with radical Islamists and a conflict over control over money for Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Earlier investigators said professional activity of the victims, including their ideological differences with opponents, was the main motive behind the crime. “Thus after Faizov was elected Mufti of Tatarstan, he chose a tough stance on organizations professing radical Islamic views in the republic. Besides, he assumed control over money of Idel-Hajj, which was sending Muslims of Tatarstan for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca,” Markin said earlier.

“He had a conflict related to that with the head of that organization, who threatened Faizov,” he added.

The homicide attempt on the mufti occurred at the intersection of Chetayev Street in Kazan at about 11:00 on Thursday morning. The mufti was inside his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado car when the bomb struck. Ildus Khazrat Faizov was rushed to hospital with traumas and wounds.

In the meantime, unidentified gunman fired several shots at the mufti’s former deputy, Valiulla Yakupov, 64, at approximately the same time on Thursday morning. The man died of wounds in his car.

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