30 held over Russian mayor's killing: report

Moscow - About 30 people have been detained in connection with the killings of a Russian mayor and ex-mayor in a city near the rebel Georgian region of South Ossetia last year, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday quoting police sources.

"Some were detained are even in Moscow," the source said, adding that two of those held since the weekend were police.

Vitaly Karayev, mayor of Vladikavkaz, capital of Russia's North Ossetia province, was shot outside his home in November. Kazbek Pagiyev, former Vladikavkaz mayor, was killed in December.

A radical Islamist group later claimed responsibility for the killing, calling Karayev an "enemy of Allah."

North Ossetia borders Russia's war-torn Chechnya and has seen a number of attacks carried out by pro-Chechen militants, including the Beslan school hostage crisis of 2004 that ended with the deaths of over 330 people.

The province also shares a border and close ethnic ties with South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian region at the centre of August's brief war between Russia and Georgia. - AFP

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