The president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, will personally oversee the investigation into the murder of an independent Uzbek journalist on Wednesday.

Alisher Saipov, 26, was shot at close range on Wednesday as he was leaving his office in the Kyrgyz city of Osh.

Saipov was the founder of the Uzbek-language newspaper that focused on political affairs in neighboring Uzbekistan. He also reported for the U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Thursday, the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan condemned the killing and called for an immediate probe. A representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Miklos Haraszti, said he was shocked and saddened by the brutal assassination. The OSCE official also welcomed the Kyrgyz president's decision to take over the investigation.

VOA's director Danforth Austin said he was saddened by Saipov's murder. He reaffirmed VOA's commitment to covering news events in Kyrgyzstan.