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Russian Officials Praise Death Of Maskhadov

9 March 2005 -- Russian officials today are praising the killing of Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov by Russian security forces.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said no security troops were injured in the killing in the Chechen village of Tolstoi-Yurt yesterday. He predicted there will be "a lot less evil" as a result of Maskhadov's death.

"The destruction of an internationally known terrorist should be seen by everyone in the same way. With this result, there will be a lot less evil," Gryzlov said.

Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Baburin also praised the operation, but said it is important that other Chechen separatist leaders be caught alive so they can give information about other rebels.

Akhmed Zakaev, the London-based spokesman for Maskhadov, has vowed the resistance will continue. He said a successor to Maskhadov will likely be named in the coming days.

Moscow blamed Maskhadov, a former Chechen president, for a string of deadly attacks in Russia.

(ITAR-TASS)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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