Moldova's official Olvia news agency is reporting the killing of a leading politician in the country's breakaway region of Trans-Dniester.

The agency says Victor Neumoin, the head of a branch of the pro-Russian Patriotic Party in Trans-Dniester's main town, Tiraspol, was shot by automatic gunfire late Monday at the entrance to his home. Neumoin's party is calling the killing a political assassination carried out by the party's political opponents.

The Patriotic Party is headed by Oleg Smirnov, the son of Trans-Dniester's leader, Igor Smirnov.

The Russian-dominated region of Trans-Dniester declared independence from Romanian-speaking Moldova in 1990, but has not received international recognition. Russian peacekeeping troops remain in Trans-Dniester despite international agreements requiring their withdrawal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.