INTERNATIONAL

New Chechnya leader

Grozny: Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel fighter accused of widespread human rights abuses, took control of Chechnya on Friday after being elevated from Prime Minister to President of the war-ravaged Russian republic. Mr. Kadyrov (30), who controls a militia of thousands, owns a pet tiger and is said to have tortured one opponent with a blow torch, was promoted by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, late on Thursday. Mr. Kadyrov's predecessor and long-time competitor, Alu Alkhanov, was ushered aside to a job at the Federal Justice Ministry.

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006