In the Russian city of Yaroslavl, the second imam of the local mosque, Artur Manukyan, 29, was found dead with four gunshot wounds to his chest in his home on Nov. 9. A criminal case has been launched under charges of murder.
As reported by Interfax news agency, investigators don’t rule out the possibility that the murder was committed on ethnic grounds and that someone was hired to kill him.
Manukyan was appointed to the position of second imam in 2010. He received his religious education at the Ulugh Beg Madrasa in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Manukyan’s father is Armenia, but his mother is Tatar. The imam is survived by his wife and 5-year-old daughter.
Note, this is the third murder of a Muslim cleric in the last two months in central Russia. On the night of Sept. 18, also murdered in his home was Abakar Kadi Magomedov, a member of the Muslim community of Yaroslavl’s central mosque. Then on Sept. 24, acting imam of the Ivanovski mosque Fouad Rustamhodzhaev was shot just outside his home as he was returning from the mosque.