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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Chechen rebel website reopens
kavkazcenter.com after being closed
The site operated from the home of a Soviet-era dissident
A Chechen rebel website has reopened on the internet - three weeks after it was temporarily shut down by the authorities in Lithuania.

The website - kavkazcenter.com - carried a statement by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claiming responsibility for the Russian school siege in Beslan.

The Lithuanian authorities argued that the website was inflaming ethnic and religious strife.

In a statement published on Friday, the website rejected the accusations.

"The Kavkaz-Tsentr staff categorically disagrees with the accusations and states that the agency in engaged in informing the public about events and reporting facts," the statement said.

Before the temporary closure on 17 September by Lithuania's state security department, the website - hosted by the Elneta service provider - operated from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

On Friday, it was accessible again as www.kavkazcenter.net.

It is not yet clear if the website has changed its IP address, which - as some experts say - might mean that it has switched to another network.

Lithuanian authorities have been trying to shut down the site since last year. The case has gone before the country's supreme court and a ruling is expected next year.




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