Russian official says murders of two Russian journalists are not connected

The recent killings of two journalists from the violence-ridden province of Dagestan are not connected, a regional law enforcement official said Saturday. Television reporter Ilyas Shurpayev from Dagestan was found dead Friday in a Moscow apartment with a belt around his neck and multiple knife wounds. He had worked in Moscow for Russia's state-run Channel One television. Later that day, the head of Dagestan's state-controlled television channel, Gadzhi Abashilov, was shot to death in the provincial capital of Makhachkala. "This is just a coincidence; the murders are not related to each other," Shamil Guseinov, deputy police chief in Dagestan's capital, told The Associated Press.