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Russian television journalist killed

Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:20 AM

KABARDINO-BALKARIA, Russia, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Russian television journalist was most likely killed in connection with his work, though he never reported on major crime stories, investigators said.

Kazbek Gekkiyev, 28, was shot three times in the head Wednesday in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Russian news website Vestnik Kavkaza reported.

Witnesses said two unidentified men walked up to the journalist as he left work at state-run Vesti KBR, and asked if he was Kazbek Gekkiyev. When he said "yes," and the two men shot him, killing him instantly, The Moscow Times reported.

Journalists at Gekkiyev's station had received threats for covering a battle between federal authorities and Islamic militants in the region. They had been pulled off the air, and Gekkiyev replaced one of them as a presenter, RIA Novosti reported.

Gekkiyev's colleagues said he had not covered any particularly controversial stories or criminal topics.

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