MOSCOW, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin Wednesday ordered Russia's special services to do everything necessary to find and eliminate the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq, the Kremlin press service said.
At a meeting earlier with a Saudi prince, Putin said that Russia would be grateful to its friends for any information about the killers.
The men were kidnapped June 3 in a raid on a Russian Embassy car in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Another diplomat was killed during the attack.
On Sunday, Arab television channel Al Jazeera reported referring to an Internet statement made by al-Qaeda in Iraq that terrorists had executed the four abducted men in revenge for what they claimed was "the torture, killing and expulsion of our brothers and sisters by the infidel Russian government" in Chechnya.
Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service, told journalists that his service had received the instructions. "We will work to ensure so that not one of the terrorists who committed the crime escapes just punishment," he said.
Sergei Mironov, the speaker of Russia's upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, said he hoped for assistance from foreign services to locate the killers.
"I would also like to recall the opinion that Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov voiced several months ago on the possibility of delivering preventive strikes against [overseas] terrorist bases that threaten Russia's security," he told a news conference in the French city of Strasbourg, where he is currently on a visit.