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Chechen militant leader Umarov ‘may have been killed in attack’

Russian forces say Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov could have been among those killed during fighting in the volatile North Caucasus region, the Russian daily Kommersant said on Tuesday.

Seventeen rebels were killed on Monday in an attack on a base in Ingushetia used by Islamist insurgents to train suicide bombers, Russia’s anti-terror committee said. The raid involved ground forces and air strikes. Three Russia servicemen were also killed in the violence.

The identities of the militants are not yet known, but law enforcement officials say there is a possibility that Umarov, one of Russia’s most wanted terrorists, could have been killed in the attack.

Umarov, who has styled himself as the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate, claimed responsibility for the March 2010 suicide bombings on the Moscow subway, in which 40 people died. He is also said to have ordered a deadly bomb attack on Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport in January that claimed 37 lives.

There have been several false reports of the death of Umarov in recent years, including speculation that he had been killed in an airstrike in Chechnya at the turn of the year.

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