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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kadyrov Deputy Killed in Bombing

A high-ranking Chechen official in the republic's pro-Moscow -administration was killed when an explosion ripped through a te-le-vision studio where he was filming a broadcast, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Adam Deniyev served as a deputy to Chechen administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov. He had competed in Chechnya's 1996 presidential elections, which were won by Aslan Maskhadov, and had come in second in August 2000 elections for Chechnya's seat in parliament.

Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for Deniyev's death Thursday evening.

"This operation was carried out by fighters of the eastern front," Vakha Dzhamalkhanov, who described himself as Maskhadov's chief of staff, said in a statement Saturday. "We think and hope that all remaining Chechens who cooperate with Russia will understand that the same fate awaits them."

On Saturday, Grozny's deputy city prosecutor Vladimir Moroz was shot to death, Interfax reported, citing the Grozny military command. He was killed on his way back from investigating the killing of three Russian women at a city market earlier in the day, Interfax said.

Chechen separatists have frequently targeted local administration officials, whom they accuse of betrayal. The separatists accused Deniyev of working for the Federal Security Service, or FSB.

Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky, who was held captive in Chechnya in early 2000 under mysterious circumstances, said the masked men to whom he was handed over by federal forces were loyal to Deniyev. The Kremlin said Babitsky was handed over to rebels in exchange for captured Russian soldiers.

Babitsky described Deniyev as having ties to the secret services and said he believed his ordeal was orchestrated by the FSB. Deniyev denied any connection to the FSB.

Deniyev had worked as Kadyrov's special representative in the Middle East and Africa, Itar-Tass reported.

Igor Botnikov, an aide to Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, said Deniyev was at a private TV studio in the southern town of Avtury — his hometown — when a bomb exploded Thursday night. A TV cameraman was wounded in the blast.

The Kommersant newspaper said the bomb had been placed in the attic, which the report said would have been easy to do unnoticed in the evening because of a lack of street lighting.

Deniyev also went by the first name of Shamalu, which he had adopted as a sign of his Islamic faith, Botnikov said.

(AP, MT)