The owner of Armenia’s largest car dealership has been shot dead in
Russia less than nine months after surviving an apparent assassination
attempt in Yerevan, law-enforcement sources told RFE/RL on Monday.
Rafael Shahmuradian of the Armenia-Lada company was said to have
been murdered at the weekend in the central Russian city of Tolyati,
which is home to Russia’s biggest car factory built in Soviet times.
Armenia-Lada specializes in sales of cars manufactured there.
No other circumstances of the incident were immediately known.
Shahmuradian was already a target of apparent assassination last
May when his car came under fire in broad daylight in Yerevan. He was
lightly wounded and hospitalized.
Shahmuradian blamed the shooting on Armenia’s Transport and
Communications Minister Andranik Manukian who also owns a company
selling Russian cars. Manukian strongly denied the charges.