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Chechen rebels say they blew up Russian dam

Rescuers work in the debris of the damaged dam of Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station near the Siberian village of Cheryomushki, about 520 km (323 miles) south of Krasnoyarsk, August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Chechen fighters said in a letter posted on a rebel website that they had used an anti-tank grenade to cause a disaster at a massive dam in Siberia this week presumed to have killed over 70 people.

“Glory to Allah, on August 17 through our efforts, a subversive operation was carried out in Khakasia at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro-electric dam,” said the letter from a group calling itself the Martyrs’ Battalion.

“In the machine hall we managed to plant an anti-tank grenade with a timer, the blast of which caused much stronger damage than we could have hoped for,” said the letter, which was published on the website.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey