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Gunman aimed to kill Kharkiv mayor — presidential candidate

April 28, 2014, 18:34 UTC+3 KHARKOV

Ukrainian presidential candidate Mykhailo Dobkin says the assassin was aiming "not at Kernes, but at Kharkiv"

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Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes during a marathon

Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes during a marathon

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

KHARKIV, April 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The person who made an assassination attempt on the life of Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes, shot to kill him, Ukrainian presidential candidate Mykhailo Dobkin said on Monday.

The attacker was aiming at the heart, said Dobkin, who is a close friend of Kernes, the mayor of a large Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainian city. He said law enforcement officers had found the location from which the attacker had shot, saying a 7.62-mm shell from the Dragunov sniper rifle had been found.

"The sniper was aiming not at Kernes, but at Kharkiv,” Dobkin said. “He (Kernes) is a strong man… and an attempt was made to liquidate him,” Dobkin added.

According to the director of the Institute of Surgery, Professor Valery Boyko, the surgery had continued for about two hours. Kernes had a grave wound to the chest and abdominal cavity. Boyko said his life was still in danger, but blood had been stopped, his condition had stabilized and emergency physicians were struggling to cope with the shock condition.

The Kharkiv mayor was shot as he was riding a bike at about 1.00 pm Moscow time on Monday, receving a spinal bullet wound. An investigation team works at the site.

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