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Chechnya: Car Bomb Kills Pro-Russian Official

Nazran, 2 August 2000 (RFE/RL) - An official with the Chechen civil administration said pro-Russian Movsar Shamsaev was killed instantly by a bomb when he stepped out of his car in Urus-Martan. Shamsayev was in charge of agriculture in the Urus-Martan region located 20 kilometers southwest of the capital, Grozny. He had received death threats before. Interfax reports that a Russian military spokesman claims rebels set the bomb to intimidate Chechens who work with Russians.

Meanwhile, at a ceremony for Russian paratroopers killed in Chechnya, President Vladimir Putin said today the latest military campaign in Chechnya helped keep Russia from breaking-up.

"All our actions are aimed at establishing and maintaining the rule of law, the constitution, the legal rights of citizens, and in defending the legal rights and the very lives of citizens. In the upholding of these, the armed forces have played a key role, blocking the process that would allow our nation to fall apart."

Deputy Chief of Staff General Valeri Manilov said today that Russian forces have killed almost 14,000 rebels in a year of fighting in the breakaway republic and Daghestan. The number could not be independently confirmed.