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Russian opposition election candidate shot

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:24pm EST

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An opposition politician running in Russian parliamentary elections was shot and seriously wounded on Wednesday as he entered his house in the southern Russian region of Dagestan, Russian media reported.

Farid Babayev, who will lead the regional list for the liberal anti-Kremlin Yabloko party was in a serious condition in hospital, RIA novosti news agency reported after an unidentified gunman fired on him in the regional capital Makhachkala.

"The incident occurred at about 10 p.m., not far from his home. Farid Babayev is now in hospital in a serious condition," said his party colleague and fellow electoral candidate, Ruslan Salahbekov, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

Dagestan is in the North Caucasus, next to Chechnya, and has been hit by an upsurge in separatist attacks in recent months and crime.

Babayev was not expected to win a seat in the December 2 parliamentary elections, since Yabloko is only receiving 1-2 percent in opinion polls, well below the 7 percent national threshold required to enter the lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Conor Sweeney, editing by Andrew Roche)

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The original at reuters.com

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Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:24pm EST