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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Calls Death Squad Papers Fake

MINSK, Belarus — A top Belarussian official on Thursday condemned U.S. allegations that a death squad is operating in Belarus against critics and opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The United States on Wednesday repeated its statement that "credible reports" from two former Belarussian investigators given asylum and documents published this week in Minsk implicated the country's leadership in the disappearance of opposition figures.

Mikhail Myasnikovich, head of the presidential administration, said Thursday the papers were fakes. "All these documents are simply forgeries — there is no death squad," he said.

The documents were released by Vladimir Goncharik, a trade unionist and a candidate for Belarus's presidential election Sept. 9, which Lukashenko says he is confident of winning.

Interfax reported Thursday that the Belarussian Embassy in Washington is appealing for a meeting with the two former investigators, who fled Beralus last month. The Belarussian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it is not sure that the men are in the United States.