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A masked man shot and killed on Monday a Russian human rights lawyer known for his work on abuses by the Russian military in the breakaway region of Chechnya, Russian media reported.

The gunman also shot Anastasia Baburova, a journalist from Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, when she tried to intervene. Baburova died later in a hospital.

Attorney Stanislav Markelov held a press conference earlier in the day opposing the early release of Col. Yury Budanov, who had been convicted of strangling a Chechen teenage girl. Budanov was released after serving only half his jail term.
Chechnya is an autonomous Russian republic. Rebels seeking independence there have long been fighting Russia.

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN), January 20, 2009|||Human rights lawyer, journalist killed in Russia
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