Anzhi Makhachkala footballer Gasan Magomedov was shot and killed after his car was targeted by machine gun fire in the region of Dagestan in North Caucasas.
A young, promising footballer has been killed while driving home in the Dagestan region of North Caucasas, in southern Russia.
Gasan Magomedov, a 20-year-old footballer playing for Russian football side Anzhi Makhachkala, was shot when his car was targeted by machine gun fire. Magomedov died while being taken to hospital.
Anzhi sent its ‘deepest condolences’ to the family of Magomedov, who had been a prominent member of the club’s youth and reserve teams. The club added, ‘One thing can be said with confidence – Magomedov could not have provoked anything like this in any way.’
The motive behind the footballer’s shooting is currently unclear, and no arrests have been made, but Dagestan – where Anzhi are based – has been becoming an increasingly common hotbed for Islamist activities.
As many as 300 people from Dagestan are fighting for the Islamic State and about ten returnees have been killed in Russian anti-terror operations.
The North Caucasus region is the part of Russia that slopes up towards the main ridge of the Caucasus mountains, often considered the border between Europe and Asia. It is home to dozens of nationalities and languages and gun battles between rebels and Russian security forces are not uncommon.
Anzhi Makhachkala had been a prominent football team within Russian football, under the financial backing of billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov. The club made headlines with the signing of famous players such as Samuel Eto’o. They twice, consecutively, qualified for European football and faced opposition such as Liverpool.
However, Kerimov later withdrew his financial backing of the club and, in one of the worst records in European football, Anzhi was relegated to the second tier – where the continue today. Magomedov was one of the promising young players in the side’s youth and reserve teams.