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China Daily Website

Plot to assassinate Putin foiled

Updated: 2012-02-27 14:20
( Xinhua)

MOSCOW - Russian and Ukrainian secret agents have successfully stopped an assassination attempt on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, local media reported Monday.

According to Russian state TV Channel One, the internationally wanted criminals were captured in Odessa, Ukraine.

They testified that they had intended to carry out the plot in Moscow immediately after the March 4 presidential election, said the TV station.

According to the press service of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), the plot was uncovered by police last month when three plotters accidentally exploded their rented apartment in Odessa as they made explosives.

One of them died in fire and one escaped, while the third one was taken to hospital due to burns. He later gave testimony on the preparation of terrorist acts in the Russian territory, and the SBU arrested his other two accomplices on February 4.

The SBU said the detained plotters had hidden out from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and often changed their appearance and location in the Ukrainian port city.

The report said the plotters had been working for a group that wants to create an Islamic state in Russia's North Caucasus.

The investigation is still underway. The TV channel has promised to give more details in its evening news program.

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed the report but refrained from making any comments to local media.

This was not the first averted attempt on Putin. In 2000, Ukraine's secret services detained four suspects who planned to assassinate then-President Putin during an informal CIS summit in Yalta.