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President Kadyrov Buried In Chechnya

Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov 10 May 2004 -- Chechen President Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov was buried in his hometown of Tsentoroi in Chechnya today, one day after he was assassinated in Grozny.

Several thousand people came to Tsentoroi, in the southeast of the separatist province, for funeral ceremonies expected to last three days.

Kadyrov was killed when an explosive device detonated under seats where he and other dignitaries were watching a World War II Victory Day parade in the Chechen capital. The explosion killed at least four other people. Funerals were held today in other areas of Chechnya for victims, including Khusein Isaev, the head of Chechnya's State Council.

The 52-year-old former Muslim cleric had been a Chechen separatist rebel before switching to Moscow's side. Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday said Kadyrov was heroic and died "victorious."

"Akhmed Kadyrov passed away on May 9th, on the day of our national holiday, the day of victory. And he left victorious as well," Putin said. The Russian president appointed Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov as acting Chechen president in accordance with the Chechen Constitution.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the blast, which injured dozens of other people.

The commander of Russian forces in the north Caucasus, Colonel General Valerii Baranov, was reported to have been critically injured in the explosion.

The U.S. has strongly condemned the bomb attack. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Americans mourn the loss of life and resolutely reject all acts of terrorism and those who commit them. He said no national, ethnic, religious, or other cause can ever justify the use of terror.

In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry said the conflict in Chechnya can only be resolved by a political solution which respects the integrity of Russian Federation territory.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero phoned Putin to condemn the "barbarian act in Grozny." The European Union said "this heinous attack" illustrates the need to further improve international coordination against terrorism worldwide.

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