MOSCOW, March 19 (RAPSI) - Russian special services cannot confirm the death of the Chechen terrorist leader Doku Umarov at this time, an official spokesperson for the National Counter-Terrorism Committee told RIA Novosti.

Umarov, the self-proclaimed head of a secessionist Islamic radical group in the North Caucasus, has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in Russia and, most recently, threatened to attack the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

That was the committee’s response to reports in the foreign media that Umarov was allegedly killed in Russia. 

“Rumors of Doku Umarov’s death have regularly found their way into the foreign media. However, Russian special services have not confirmed it,” the spokesperson said.

Last January, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that until special services provide strong evidence of the terrorist’s death he will be considered alive. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov earlier claimed that intercepted communications between militants had provided new evidence of Umarov’s death.

Kadyrov refused to comment on the allegations, when questioned by RIA Novosti.

A number of western media sources reported the death of Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov Tuesday, referring the Chechen militants’ Caucasus Center website. Access to the website in Russia is blocked by government ruling.

Earlier in March, Ukrainian far right nationalist protest leader Dmitry Yarosh was arrested in absentia for calling on Umarov to help fight against “Russian occupation of Ukraine,” saying that Ukrainians and natives of Russia’s North Caucasus shared “spilled blood.”