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Russia pays bounty for body of Chechen rebel leader

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Russia pays bounty for body of Chechen rebel leader


Destined for an unmarked grave, the body of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov has earned whoever helped find him a bounty of 7.5 million euros. The Russians say troops found his bunker in Chechnya last week after state security services, the FSB, received what they called “an approach by citizens who gave the necessary data”.

Moscow blamed Maskhadov for a string of deadly attacks in Russia including the Beslan school siege where more than 330 hostages, half of them children, died. At the Kremlin, Maskhadov’s killing has been hailed as a significant blow against Chechnya’s rebels. But while President Vladimir Putin has been congratulating the FSB for its success, Russian media has begun questioning the official version of his death. Reporters who visited the scene say he may not have been cornered in a bunker as officials claim. Rather he could have been captured elsewhere, possibly interrogated, and then his body brought to the site. Maskhadov had advocated negotiations to end the conflict between Chechen separatists and pro-Moscow forces and he always denied involvement in the Beslan siege.
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