Chechen rebel leader 'responsible' for bombing
Updated: 2011-02-09 08:14
Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov gestures in this image taken from undated video footage. www.kavkazcenter.com via Reuters
MOSCOW - Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attack last month at a Moscow airport, according to a website report.
During a video received late on Monday, Umarov, 46, said he had ordered the Jan 24 attack at Domodedovo Airport that killed 36 people and injured more than 130 others, said the Kavkaz Center website.
"The special operation ... was carried out by my orders, more special operations will be carried out in the future," Umarov said in the video.
According to the website which is reportedly affiliated with Chechen rebels, Umarov said that the Caucasus region was "at war" with Russian forces to defend "the people's right to dignity", to "liberate" the area and to establish "law and justice".
"There are hundreds of brothers who are prepared to sacrifice themselves ... we can carry out these operations where we want and when we want," Umarov said.
Russian investigators said they had already targeted the first suspect, a 20-year-old man from Russia's volatile Caucasus region.
On Monday, Moscow's RBC Daily reported an earlier video released by Umarov, in which the rebel leader threatened to conduct new terror attacks in Russia.
In this video clip, Umarov said his militants would conduct attacks in Russia "weekly or monthly", adding that 2011 would be "the year of blood and tears".
Along with Umarov, the video showed two militants, whom Umarov said were in charge of training about 50 to 60 suicide bombers.
Local report said as the video clip was undated, it would be difficult to verify when the announcement was made.
In March 2010, Umarov also claimed responsibility for the twin deadly blasts in Moscow subway, which killed 37 people and injured 65 others.
He said the blasts were revenge for the killing of civilians by Russian security forces.
Russia has been plagued by terror attacks for years, especially those from the Caucasus region. The lingering tensions in Chechnya are threatening local stability.
Violence is common in the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia with militants frequently mounting attacks targeting police officers and authorities.
Moscow has vowed to bring stability to the region via improving social services and raising pensions and salaries as measures to tackle corruption and terror infiltration.
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