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GROZNY, January 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov said the intercepted talks of militants indicated that the ringleader of North Caucasus terrorists, Doku Umarov, was destroyed.
“We have long been 99 percent sure that Umarov was killed in one of military operations. Now there are proofs that this is really so, although his body was not yet found. The search for his body goes on,” Kadyrov said in an interview with correspondents of three federal television channels on Thursday evening.
The head of Chechnya said a recording of the talks among ringleaders of a number of armed gangs operating in Kabardino-Balkaria and in Dagestan contained the mention of the new “emir” elected, as Umarov was dead.
Kadyrov told a news conference at Itar-Tass in December that Umarov was most probably long since dead.
The head of Chechnya also said he was all for tougher punishment of crimes of terrorism.
“It is long since time for tougher laws for punishing crimes of terrorism. I suggested this more than once. One can even say this decision is a bit too late,” Kadyrov said, commenting on the initiative to upgrade penalties for terrorism. The package of anti-terrorism measures was worked out after the terrorist acts in Volgograd late last year. It is planned to submit it for consideration to the State Duma in February.