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MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian human rights group Memorial says the head of its branch in Dagestan was severely beaten in at attack outside his home in the republic’s capital.

The group said Sirazhutdin Datsiyev was attacked Wednesday morning in the city of Makhachkala by an assailant who emerged from an automobile with tinted windows.

Dagestan is in Russia’s North Caucasus, a region where activists say human rights violations are widespread. It is also the site of an Islamic insurgency against Russian authorities.

The head of Memorial’s office in the neighboring republic of Chechnya has been jailed since January awaiting trial on drug possession charges that Memorial says are trumped up.