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UPDATED: 19:56, May 09, 2004
Putin confirms Chechen President Kadyrov is killed
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Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Sunday that Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov had been killed in the blast that rocked a stadium in Grozny, the capital of the breakaway Chechen Republic.

  ;  The Itar-Tass news agency reported earlier that at least 14 people were killed in the explosion, which took place at 10:40 a.m.Moscow time (0640 GMT).

But the Russian Interior Ministry said four were killed and 42 others wounded in the explosion during a celebration of the 59th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazi Germany inthe World War II, Interfax reported.

Local media were giving conflicting reports over the fate of Valery Baranov, head of the Joint Army Command of the North Caucasus, with some reports saying he had been killed and some saying he was still alive, but one of his legs torn away by the blast.

Spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry's Interior Troops Vasily Panchenkov said "doctors are struggling to save his life," according to Interfax.

The blast was triggered by a bomb planted in the concrete undera VIP-seating area in the Dynamo stadium.

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has launched a criminal investigation into the blast on charges of murder and terrorism.

President Putin has said retribution was inevitable for those who set off the bomb. But so far, there has no claim of responsibility for the incident.

Putin urges international efforts to rebuff terrorism

MOSCOW, May 9 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on the international community to jointly rebuff international terrorism, Interfax reported.

Putin made the call when addressing participants of a grand military parade at the Red Square celebrating the 59th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazi Germany in the World War II.

The world community's task is to "give a worthy rebuff to the terrorists and rid the world of this plague," Putin said.

"We have no right to turn a blind eye on the Nazi swastika and the fascism that is still spreading in the world, or to the fact that no less a terrible evil -- international terrorism -- is added to them and is causing death and destruction," Putin was quoted as saying.

While Putin spoke to soldiers, veterans and senior officials, a bomb planted under the VIP seats in a stadium in the Chechen capital of Grozny exploded during a Victory Day celebration.

Putin has confirmed that Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov had been killed in the blast.

Local media gave conflicting reports over the fate of General Valery Baranov, head of the Joint Army Command of the North Caucasus. Some reports said the general was killed in the explosion and some said he was critically injured, with a leg blown away.

During his speech, Putin also congratulated World War II veterans for their glorious victory over Nazi Germany 59 years ago,saying their heroic feats brought peace, tranquillity and freedom to the world and proved that Russia will always has an enormous potential of strength to overcome any enemy.

After his brief speech, some 5,000 soldiers, wearing span-new uniforms and carrying polished rifles and military banners, marched past him and other Russian senior officials amid the beat of a military orchestra.

At the beginning of the march, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was driven around Red Square in a Zil limousine to review the troops.

Nationwide parades and celebrations were held in Russia on Sunday to mark the festival, while the parade on the Red Square isthe most eye-catching one.

Victory Day is one of the most important dates on Russia's calendar as the nation mourns Soviet losses of an estimated 27 million people, which outnumbered those of any other country in World War II.

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