Attackers have shot dead an imam and two of his male relations, as they drove to a mosque in the Russian North Caucasus region of Dagestan.
They were shot on their way to morning prayers, close to the imam’s home in the Caspian Sea town of Derbent, law enforcement sources told reporters.
The cleric was named as Kalimulla Ibragimov, 49, who is said to have delivered sermons calling for peace.
Islamists have been blamed for attacks on moderate Muslims in the region.
Dagestan, a mainly Muslim region, has been gripped by an Islamist insurgency since 1999, when militants backed by fighters from neighbouring Chechnya launched an offensive against Russian control.
Three imams have been shot dead in the region since March, the Russian news website utro.ru reports.