March 18, 2014 3:12 pm
Updated: March 18, 2014 3:15 pm

Chechen group claims militant leader Doku Umarov is dead

In this screen shot taken in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 off a computer screen showing an undated photo of a man identified as Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov, posted on the site. (File Photo), file/AP Photo

MOSCOW – An Islamic militant group in Russia’s North Caucasus is reporting the death of its leader, who had threatened to attack Sochi Olympics and was one of Russia’s most wanted men.

The death of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov has been reported previously, but this appears to be the first time by the organization he headed.

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The Caucasus Emirate announced the “martyrdom” of Umarov in a statement posted Tuesday on the website of Kavkaz Center, which serves as a mouthpiece for Islamic militant groups. No cause was given.

READ MORE: Russia bombings: Who is Doku Umarov and what is the Caucasus Emirate?

Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader had reported Umarov’s death in January, a month before the Olympics, but his claim was not verified.

The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov saying that Tuesday’s announcement showed he was right that Umarov died in a special operation.

Canada’s public safety minister announced announced, in Dec. 2013, the federal government had listed the Caucasus Emirate as a terrorist organization.

*With a file from Global News

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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