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Kadyrov Says Dream Is To Eliminate Insurgency Leader

Doku Umarov in a screen grab from an insurgency video in 2012
GROZNY, Russia -- The Kremlin-backed leader of Russia's republic of Chechnya has said his dream is to eliminate Islamic insurgent leader Doku Umarov.

Talking to journalists in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on May 28, Ramzan Kadyrov said the hunt for Umarov continues but added he does not precisely know if Umarov is dead or alive.

Kadyrov said that there are no militants in Chechnya's mountains anymore, with the exception of some who are hiding along the border with Ingushetia.

Kadyrov also claimed that 30,000 former refugees returned to Chechnya last year.

After two unsuccessful wars with Russia for independence, Chechen separatist insurgents turned increasingly into Islamic radicals.

In 2007, Umarov proclaimed himself the leader of what he called the independent Islamic state of Imarat Kavkaz (The Caucasus Emirate) in the North Caucasus.

Based on reporting by RIA-Novosti, Interfax, and RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service