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Chechen Rebels Vow to Fight on After Killing of Mashkadov


Chechen rebels are vowing to to press on with their fight for independence from Russia, after the death of separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov.

The rebels call the killing of Mr. Maskhadov a "fleeting coup" for Russia and they are urging Chechen fighters to keep carrying out planned missions.

Russian television showed pictures Tuesday of a body lying in a pool of blood. The body has tentatively been identified as Mr. Maskhadov's, but forensic tests to confirm that are to be carried out today.

Military officials say troops killed him during a raid in the northern Chechen village of Tolstoi-Yurt. The Kremlin blamed Mr. Maskhadov for a number of deadly terror attacks, including the 2002 Moscow theater siege and last year's Beslan school massacre.

Mr. Maskhadov was elected Chechen president in 1997, but fled into hiding when thousands of Russian troops re-entered Chechnya in 1999.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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