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Bomb Blast Kills Chechen President - 2004-05-09


A powerful bomb blast in Grozny has killed Moscow-backed Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov and at least six others.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Mr. Kadyrov an heroic man who worked hard for the Chechen people. Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov has been appointed acting president.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast which wounded more than 50 others. But Mr. Putin blamed the attack those he calls "terrorists" -- a likely reference to Muslim separatists who had accused Mr. Kadyrov of treason and made several previous assassination attempts.

Five suspects were arrested within an hour of the blast.

Police believe the bomb was hidden in the concrete under the seats of the newly rebuilt Dynamo Stadium in Grozny. The bomb exploded while President Kadyrov was watching a Victory Day parade, marking the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.

The White House has condemned the attack and says nothing can ever justify the use of terrorism. The European Union has also condemned the bombing.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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