Oumar Lamine Badji, president of the regional Ziguinchor council in the Casamance area, was killed at his home over the weekend in southern Senegal.
Badji was killed in the small hours of Sunday in his natal village of Sindian, about 50 km north to the Ziguinchor by armed men claiming to be members of the Democratic Movement Forces of Casamance (MFDC), the African Press Agency (APA) reported on Sunday.
According to his family, Badji, 57, who is also a member of the executive committee of the ruling Senegal Democratic Party, had been captured by the assailants who burnt down his house as well as his car before vanishing into the bush.
His body had been transferred to the local hospital Sunday morning by the Senegalese army awaiting authorities' decision on the funeral arrangements.
The motive of the killing is yet to be known, although some observers have linked the accident to the reprisals promised by the MFDC which is violently opposed to Senegalese army's landmine- clearing operations in the region.
From 1983 to 2002, the fightings between the government army and the rebels of MFDC who took up arms in search of independence had claimed hundreds of lives in Casamance, largely through the use of landmines.
Two soldiers were killed and a dozen people were injured in an ambush by the MFDC last week.