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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Held in Chechen's Slaying in Dubai

Dubai police said Tuesday that they have detained a Russian national and three ethnic Chechens in connection with the killing of Sulim Yamadayev, a former Moscow-backed strongman who challenged Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's authority and was shot dead in Dubai over the weekend.

"Police have detained a Russian national who is under investigation," Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said.

Tamim told the English-language Abu Dhabi daily newspaper The National that the other suspects are Chechens, though it was unclear from the report what passports they held.

"I would like to clarify that they are all suspects and no one has been charged yet," Tamim said, The National reported on its web site.

Russia's consul in Dubai, Sergei Krasnogor, said seven people had been detained in connection with the murder, RIA-Novosti reported. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting figures.

Tamim rejected reports in the Russian media that Yamadayev had survived the attack, which took place in the underground parking lot of a luxury seaside apartment block in Dubai, a tourism hub that is home to hundreds of thousands of wealthy expatriates.

"The case is clear, and there is no confusion over what happened. An organized criminal group was behind the assassination," he said.

Yamadayev "died instantly on the scene," Tamim said. "He had two people with him. They did not have any weapons but tried to resist the assailant, but he was able to escape. One of them claimed the gunman hit him with the butt of his gun on the head before escaping. He is suffering from a head injury."

The victim was shot from behind, Tamim said. Police deemed the shooting an assassination because of Yamadayev's history. "The man has a long track record of dispute with Chechen" people, he said.

The Russian government has received no confirmation that Yamadayev was shot to death by gunmen in Dubai, a senior Russian official said in Moscow on Tuesday.

There has been no identification of the corpse by consular officials, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would not bring up the issue in talks Tuesday with his visiting counterpart from Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said the official, who asked to be unidentified in line with government policy.

Kadyrov said Tuesday that Chechen police were ready to help Dubai authorities with the investigation, Interfax reported.

Last September, Sulim's brother Ruslan -- a former State Duma deputy and military commander in Chechnya -- was killed by unidentified gunmen in central Moscow.

Kadyrov at the time rejected accusations he had been behind the murder and said the killers wanted to discredit him and to destabilize Chechnya.