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MASKHADOV SECRET HIDEOUT BLASTED

RIA Novosti

GROZNY, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - The house in the Tolstoi-Yurt village, Grozny district of Chechnya, in which the leader of Chechen separatists Aslan Maskhadov was hiding, has been blasted for operative considerations. RIA Novosti learnt this from Lieutenant-General Arkadi Yedelev, head of the regional operative headquarters for control of the counterterrorist operation in the North Caucasus.

"It follows from the interrogation of militants detained in Tolstoi-Yurt who were in the same bunker with Maskhadov that under the house was a box with documents which belonged to Maskhadov", General Yedelev said.

The detained militants also said that a powerful remote-controlled bomb was in the bunker, he said.

"Bomb-disposal experts arrived in Tolstoi-Yurt recently. By a generator impulses at different frequencies they provoked the blast of the bomb hidden in the cellar", General Yedelev said.

The militants' testimony was thus confirmed, he said.

"The special generator sending initiator impulses to the cellar where Maskhadov hid provoked a powerful blast. Part of the walls and the roof collapsed. Since the building was cordoned off by federals, nobody has suffered in the explosion", the general said.

He also noted that the provoked-blast decision was taken to prevent victims among the operatives who were to find the documents left.

After the blast, the command decided to remove the remaining two walls and raze them to the ground.

"This was needed to prevent the penetration of civilians into the bunker and their possible death", General Yedelev said.



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