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Chechen militant leader Umarov tied to Domodedovo bombing - Khloponin

RIA Novosti

16:44 11/02/2011

UFA, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov has been tied to the terrorist attack in late January at Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport, North Caucasus Federal District presidential envoy Alexander Khloponin said on Friday.

The powerful blast that ripped through the international arrivals hall of Moscow's busiest airport on January 24 killed 36 people and injured more than 100.

"There is involvement; Doku Umarov's participation is being investigated," Khloponin told journalists.

Khloponin added, however, that in his opinion Umarov "is no longer as influential as before in the Caucasus in regard to defining positions or setting tasks."

Earlier reports said Chechen warlord Umarov, who claimed responsibility for the deadly Moscow subway bombings in March, could have been killed in a special operation in January. A source in the Russian special services refuted the rumors saying there were "no facts."

"Police are continuing the search for the gang leader and the search will go on until he is killed or detained despite [rumors] that he died, ran or is hiding in a hole," Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov told reporters in mid-January commenting on the information on Umarov's death.

In the past years, there have been several reports about the death of Umarov, currently Chechnya's most wanted terrorist leader, but all have been proven false.

Several of the most notorious North Caucasus militant leaders have been killed in the past ten years, including Shamil Basayev, Khalim Saidullayev, Aslan Maskhadov, and Emir Ibn al Khattab.

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