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Russian Army Says Chechen Leader Maskhadov Killed

Maskhadov 8 March 2005 -- The Russian army says federal troops have killed Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov.

Russian NTV television showed the chief of the security service (FSB) today informing President Vladimir Putin that Maskhadov had been killed.

NTV showed footage of a dead body said to be that of Maskhadov. Maskhadov's envoy in London, Akhmed Zakaev, told Ekho Moskvy radio that Maskhadov was probably dead, though he had no personal confirmation.

The Russian Army said Maskhadov was killed in a shootout in the village of Tolstoi-Yurt. RFE/RL Russian Service's correspondent in Grozny, Musa Khasanov, gave more details on the statement of army spokesman Ilya Shabalkin: "Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov was found [during a security operation] in a bunker built under a private house. As a result of an exchange of fire Maskhadov was killed and his body has been identified, according to Shabalkin."

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

(RFE/RL's Russian Service/Interfax/AP)