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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 15:25 GMT
Kadyrov appointed as Chechen PM
Ramzan Kadyrov
Mr Kadyrov's militia has been accused of rights abuses
The leader of a powerful militia group has been appointed as Chechnya's new pro-Moscow prime minister.

Chechnya's regional assembly unanimously backed the appointment of Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of assassinated former president Akhmad Kadyrov.

Mr Kadyrov replaces Sergei Abramov, who stepped down citing ill health.

Mr Kadyrov's security forces are blamed by Russian and Western rights groups for abductions, extra-judicial killings and torture - charges he has denied.

His appointment forms part of a process Russian authorities describe as the normalisation of political life in Chechnya, following years of conflict.

But, say correspondents, rebels remain active in many parts of Chechnya, including the capital Grozny.

Mr Kadyrov's father was killed in a suspected rebel bombing in May 2004.

Mr Abramov has not worked since he was injured in a Moscow car crash in November.

Mr Kadyrov has been caretaker prime minister since Mr Abramov's accident.

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