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Russia's Putin calls murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov a 'disgrace'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. He was gunned down in Moscow on Friday night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday condemned opposition leader Boris Nemtsov's killing describing it as a tragedy that had brought disgrace to Russia.

"We must pay the greatest attention to crimes that prompt a major reaction, including those that are politically charged," Putin told officials of the Interior Ministry at a televised meeting, adding that Russia needed to get rid of "disgrace and tragedies like the one we just saw… the audacious murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital."

Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician and prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, was

shot down on Friday night

while he walked with his girlfriend, Ukrainian

Anna Duritskaya

, in central Moscow, close to the Kremlin.

Investigators were still looking for a car believed to have been present in the area where the killing took place.

No one had been arrested in connection with the murder of Nemtsov, who is considered to be the most prominent opposition figure to be killed during Putin's 15-year-long presence in government.

The Kremlin denied any involvement in Nemtsov's murder, calling the killing a "provocation" to discredit Putin and strengthen his opponents.

Putin also warned against a rise in extremist crime without relating it directly to Nemtsov's murder.

"Extremists poison society with militant nationalism, intolerance and aggression," Putin said, adding that it was important to react instantly to any such signs.

mg/lw (Reuters, AFP)

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