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Russian Activists Call For Maskhadov's Body Return

14 March 2005 -- Leading Russian rights organizations are calling for officials to hand over the body of slain Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov to his relatives for burial.

Russian forces in Chechnya killed Maskhadov last week during a special operation. Russian authorities say he was a terrorist and have declined to hand over the body.

In a statement signed by the Russian rights groups, Lev Ponomarev of the organization For Human Rights said it was "shameful" to refuse to return the body to Maskhadov's relatives.

Meanwhile, Russian troops today destroyed the house in Chechnya where Maskhadov was killed. It was unclear why the troops destroyed the home. Russian officials declined to comment.


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