Dagestan Blast Kills Cleric

MAKHACHKALA — Police in the southern Russian province of Dagestan said a Muslim cleric who criticized radical Islamists was killed by a powerful explosion.

Gitinmagomed Abdulgapurov, an imam in Buinaksk, became the fifth Muslim cleric killed in Dagestan in the past two years.

Dagestan Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said Abdulgapurov was killed early Friday along with his bodyguard when they walked to the mosque for a prayer.

He said the makeshift explosive device, hidden in a heap of garbage and operated by a cell phone, killed the men instantly.

(AP)