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A senior Muslim cleric in Russia has prompted controversy by urging universal female genital mutilation after a rights group released a report on the practice in the country's North Caucasus region.A controversial Russian Orthodox cleric and blogger, the Church's former spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin, backed Berdiyev saying that Muslims had a right to a "time-honoured tradition".Berdiyev spoke after rights NGO Russian Justice Group released a report Monday on the ritual cutting of young girls' genitals in some mountain villages in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.UNICEF figures published this year indicate that some 200 million girls in the world are subjected to genital mutilation, 44 million of whom are younger than 15-years-old.
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