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Chechen warlord Umarov labelled terrorist

WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov is officially considered a terrorist by the U.S. government, the U.S. State Department announced.

The U.S. State Department announced late Wednesday the designation of Umarov as a terrorist.

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"The emergence of Umarov as the leader of the Chechen insurgency intensified the split between national separatists and radical jihadists and led to a movement seeking to create an Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus with Umarov as the emir," a statement from the State Department read.

The State Department said he claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the Russian and the Caucasus region.

Umarov took responsibility for April attacks in Moscow that killed two police officers. He said in a videotape they were in retaliation for a February operation carried out by security forces in which 18 militants and four civilians were killed in Ingushetia.

The State Department notes that the Chechen leader also took credit for a 2009 train derailment that killed 28 people and a subway attack in 2010 that killed 40.

Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the coordinator for counter-terrorism at the U.S. State Department, said the designation is a response to threats to Russia and the United States.

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"We stand in solidarity with the Russian people in our condemnation of these deplorable terrorist acts," said Benjamin.

The designation comes as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Washington for a state visit with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

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