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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shepel Says Nephew Shot Maskhadov

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel on Friday said Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov was shot dead by his nephew and bodyguard, Viskhan Khadzhimuratov.

Maskhadov had earlier asked to be killed to avoid the capture, Shepel said in a statement, according to his office.

Earlier reports differed on whether Maskhadov was killed by the federal forces or shot by one of his own bodyguards.

Maskhadov was killed in March after having been cornered by federal forces in a bunker in the village of Tolstoy-Yurt.

Also Friday, a land mine explosion hit a military convoy in downtown Grozny, wounding two servicemen, officials said.

The radio-controlled land mine targeted vehicles belonging to military engineers.