Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Putin oks hit on hostages' killers

President Vladimir Putin Wednesday ordered Russia's secret services to find and "destroy" the militants who killed four Russian diplomats in Iraq.

"The president has ordered the special forces to take all necessary measures to find and destroy the criminals who killed Russian diplomats in Iraq," the Kremlin press service said.

Pictures of the four Russian diplomats killed by Iraqi militants.
Pictures of the four Russian diplomats killed by Iraqi militants grabbed from a video released by the Mujahedeen Shura Council in Iraq, on the internet. Russia formerly opposes the foreign military operations in Iraq. AFP/MUJAHEDEEN SHURA COUNCIL photo via Yahoo News.

Some security analysts believe that if Russia knew who the kidnappers were they would have already attemped a rescue operation.

Others point to the 2004 assassination of Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Qatar by two Russian intelligence agents as proof of Russia's ability. The agents were captures and later convicted by a Qatar court and sent back to Russia to serve their sentences.

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