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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin-backed chief of Russia's turbulent Chechnya region said his forces were fighting U.S. and British intelligence services who want to split the country apart, according to an interview published on Thursday.
Former rebel-turned-Moscow-ally Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments to Zavtra newspaper reprinted on his official website that he had seen the U.S. driving licence of a CIA operative who was killed in a security operation he led.
Chechen authorities have previously said insurgents following the radical Wahabist form of Islam receive support from international Islamist groups sympathetic to al-Qaeda, but have not accused the West of instigating violence.
The West sought to attack both Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the country as a whole by targeting the country's weakest regions, Kadyrov said in the comments republished prominently on www.chechnya.gov.ru.