Friday, September 23, 2011

Russian “Agent” Accused of Triple Murder in Turkey

Three Chechens were gunned down in Istanbul after Friday prayers by a lone gunman who fired 11 shots in less than 30 seconds from a silenced 9mm pistol before speeding away in a black Mercedes. The Chechens are believed to be linked with anti-Russian guerrillas. Three days later Turkish special forces received a tip as to where the assailant was staying, rushed to the location and breached the hotel room, only to find he had fled minutes before, leaving behind the silenced pistol, a night-vision camera, binoculars, and a passport identifying him as a Russian citizen named Alexander Zharkov. The Turkish authorities reportedly believe that Zharkov may be linked to the Russian government. Russia denies involvement. "Those are pure speculations having nothing [to do] with reality," Yevgeniy Khorishko, press officer for the Russian Embassy in the U.S., said. The case is not unique. In 2004 two Russian agents were convicted in Qatar for assassinating Chechen leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov is wanted by Interpol in connection with the assassination of Hero of Russia Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai in 2009. Another State Duma deputy, Andrey Lugovoy, is wanted by Scotland Yard in relation to the poisoning of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Alexander Zharkov himself was present in Istanbul in 2009 when another Chechen man was shot dead. (video)

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