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Chechen warlord charged with organising attack on Moscow airport

A Chechen rebel warlord was behind the suicide bombing of Moscow's main airport, Russia's top investigative agency said yesterday, adding that it has detained two suspects.

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said it had charged in absentia Doku Umarov and another militant with organising the bombing of Domodedovo airport on 24 January, which killed 37 and injured more than 180.

Russian media reports, meanwhile, said that Mr Umarov may have been among the 17 militants killed in a security raid in the Ingushetia pro- vince west of Chechnya on Monday.

The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, praised the security service for the raid, saying it had "dealt a heavy blow" to the insurgents. "It's good that you struck these scoundrels in their den," Mr Medvedev said during a meeting yesterday with a deputy head of Russia's Federal Security Service.

Russian news reports said Mr Umarov may have been killed in a raid that involved an air strike on a militant camp in the region's forested mountains, but officials had no confirmation. Three security officers also died in the raid.

Ingushetia's leader, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said that some militant leaders were among those killed, but added it was too early to name them, pending an investigation.