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Assailants wielding automatic weapons from a passing car gunned down a former top Russian intelligence official while he drove on a Moscow street Sunday, Russian news agencies reported.

Col. Gen. Anatoly Trofimov, former deputy chief of the Federal Security Service under President Boris N. Yeltsin, was shot in his sport utility vehicle at about 7:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EDT) on a northern street, the Interfax news agency reported. He died at the scene.

A woman in the vehicle, believed to be Trofimov's wife, was hospitalized with serious wounds, news agencies said.

Ekho Moskvyi radio said the attack may have been a contract killing related to unidentified business deals.

After an examination by federal accountants, Yeltsin had fired Trofimov, who also served as head of the Moscow branch of the Federal Security Service in 1997 for "gross violations and flaws in his work."

The Federal Security Service is the main successor agency to the KGB.

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