London: The head of one of Russia’s most powerful crime gangs, known as ‘Grandpa Hassan’, was gunned down outside a Moscow restaurant.
Aslan Usoyan has been shot dead in an apparent contract killing that has sparked fears of bloody turf wars.
Usoyan, who was also known as Grandpa Hassan, was killed by a single shot to his head from a sniper’s rifle, as he left the Karetny Dvor restaurant, near the Kremlin in Moscow, Sky News reports.
In a statement, the Russia’s Investigative Committee said that te 75-year-old was rushed to hospital but died on the way.
The committee said a murder investigation has been launched into the shooting, and cited Usoyan``s ‘criminal activities’ as a possible explanation.
It is believed the killing is part of a war between two gangs over lucrative construction projects, including some for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Police said a female bystander was also wounded in the shooting and is being treated in hospital.
Six 9mm bullet casings were found on a stairwell between the fifth and sixth floors of a building across the street from where Usoyan was shot dead, the report added.