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Russia to Perform Tests to Confirm Chechen Separatist Leader Was Killed


The Russian Prosecutor General's office is expected to carry out tests in Chechnya Wednesday to confirm Chechen Separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov's reported death.

Russia's Prosecutor General says forensic tests due Wednesday on the body of a man shown on Russian television in a pool of blood could confirm whether it it is that of Mr. Maskhadov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said if the wanted fugitive's death is confirmed, those who participated in the Special Forces operation in which Mr. Maskhadov was reportedly killed will be decorated with medals.

In a statement broadcast on Russian television, President Putin also said that much more work needs to be done to stabilize Chechnya.

Russian officials have blamed Mr. Maskhadov for numerous terrorist attacks from last year's Beslan school massacre to the Dubrovka theater hostage crisis.

Russia had offered a $10 million reward for information that would lead to Mr. Maskhadov's capture.

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