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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Former Head of Afghan Veterans' Fund Dies in Car Accident

The former head of an Afghan veterans' fund, who was a defendant in one of Russia's highest-profile criminal cases in recent years, was killed in a car accident Wednesday outside Moscow, police said.

Valery Radchikov, former chairman of the Afghan Veterans' Foundation, was riding in a Lada car that collided with a truck on the Minsk Highway about 80 kilometers west of Moscow, said Interior Ministry spokesman Farid Khasanov.

The collision also killed the car's driver and injured two other passengers, Khasanov said. He could not identify the other victims or say whether anybody in the truck had suffered.

The accident came a year after Radchikov was acquitted of charges of masterminding a 1996 bomb attack that targeted a rival veterans' group. The bombing killed 14 people and wounded nearly 50.

The powerful explosive was hidden under a refreshment table at a graveside memorial service at Moscow's Kotlyakovsky cemetery, and sent bodies and body parts flying hundreds of meters (yards) away.

The bombing was allegedly the culmination of a long, violent feud between Radchikov's group and another veterans' organization over lucrative tax exemptions for the import and export of consumer goods.

A court convicted Radchikov and two others of planting the bomb, but an appeals court threw out the conviction in January 2000 for lack of evidence. Radchikov was released from jail.

Radchikov was a former military intelligence officer who lost his legs in Afghanistan. He served as chairman of the Afghan Veterans' Foundation from 1991 until his arrest in 1997.