Japanese adventurer feared killed in Russian road accident

26 Dec 2012
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A Japanese adventurer who was cycling across Russia is believed to have been killed on Wednesday in a road accident near the Arctic circle, Russian officials and media said.

Authorities believe a Japanese man who died after being hit by a car from behind on the Kola Peninsula some 300 km (185 miles) south of Murmansk was Haruhisa Watanabe, said Sergei Klyushev, a Russian Foreign Ministry official in Murmansk.

"He died at the scene after sustaining multiple injuries," Klyushev said by phone.

In 2004 at age 22 Watanabe said he had become the second youngest person to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.

Media reports said he had began his current trip in June in China and had crossed Central Asia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey before taking a ferry to Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi and cycling north from there.

(Reporting by Tatyana Ustinova; Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Andrew Osborn)

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