Rebel leader who threatened Sochi dies

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MOSCOW -- Chechnya's Kremlin-backed strongman says that a rebel leader who has threatened to attack the Sochi Olympics is dead.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Thursday on his Instagram that Doku Umarov, a Chechen warlord who urged his fighters to strike the Games, has died. Kadyrov says that the information about Umarov's death came from intercepted communications between other rebel leaders who were discussing his replacement.

There was no way to verify the claim from Kadyrov, who has announced Umarov's death in the past. The Interfax news agency quotes an unidentified source in Russian security agencies as saying they can't confirm Umarov's death.

Umarov is the leader of the so-called Caucasus Emirate, a loose alliance of rebel groups seeking to create an independent Islamic state in Russia's North Caucasus.

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