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Russia: 2 dead men were killers of Muslim cleric

Police experts examine the remains of the car of the Islamic leader of Russia's main Muslim region of Tatarstan, following a car blast in Kazan on July 19, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ROMAN KRUCHININ

MOSCOW: Russia's intelligence agency says two men killed in a police sweep in the oil-rich province of Tatarstan were involved in the slaying of a top Muslim cleric.

The FSB said Thursday that Robert Valeyev and Ruslan Kashapov were behind July's attack that wounded Tatarstan's chief mufti and killed his deputy. Both victims had been vocal critics of radical groups that advocate a strict and puritan version of Islam known as Salafism.

Valeyev and Kashapov were killed Wednesday in a police sweep in the provincial capital, Kazan, in which an FSB officer also died.

The intelligence agency also said that the two men had been plotting a "major terrorist attack" in Kazan during a major Muslim holiday on Friday.

 

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