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Putin says Chechnya suicide bombing and Riyadh blasts have same signature

Two female suicide bombers infiltrated a religious festival in Chechnya yesterday and killed 30 people in an attack that Russia immediately linked to Monday’s Riyadh bombings. President Vladimir Putin said: “The signature in both places is identical.” Mr Putin said a Saudi-born Islamic fundamentalist named Abu Walid had planned the attack, but had no proof to back up the claim. Mr Abu Walid is believed to have replaced Omar bin Khattab as one of the Chechen rebel movement’s main leaders. Khattab, a Saudi-born warlord, is alleged to have been killed by poisoning last year in Chechnya. The attacks came two days after suicide bombers detonated a truck bomb in a government compound in northern Chechnya, killing 59. Russian officials claim the attacks are not the work of rebels, but part of a global assault on non-Muslim powers by international terrorists. By linking unrest in Chechnya to the US-led war on terror, Russia has largely avoided Western criticism for its crackdown on the Chechen population. Full Story

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