Ashkhabad claims some Russians stand behind life attempt on Turkmen President

Ashkhabad claims that there are "politicians in Russia who connived with the organisers of the attempt on the life" of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. Serdar Durdyev in charge of the international information department at the presidential apparatus said as much on Tuesday stressing that his statement was "official". Durdyev admitted that he had no evidence that the attempt on the president's life had been ordered or organised in Russia. He disclosed no specific names of Russian politicians or officials.

According to Turkmen law enforcers, Niyazov's escort was fired at early on Monday morning near the Olympic stadium in Prospekt Turkmenbashi in Ashkhabad. A few people were injured, while Niyazov himself was not hit.

The local authorities called the incident an act of international terrorism aimed to destabilise the situation in the republic.

Durdyev stressed that "no mass repressions or arrests, as some foreign mass media predicted, will follow."

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