Some government-sanctioned assassinations on foreign soil

AP News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2016 3:46 PM

A British judge's report that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably approved the killing of a Kremlin critic at a London hotel in 2006 calls to mind other serious allegations of government-sanctioned assassinations on foreign soil. Some noteworthy cases over the years:

— January 1996: The killing of chief Hamas bombmaker Yehiyeh Ayyash by an explosives-rigged mobile phone was widely attributed to Israel's spy agency Mossad. Ayyash had assembled explosives for several Hamas suicide bombings

— September 1978: Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was waiting for a bus at Waterloo Bridge in London when he was fatally jabbed in the thigh with a poisoned umbrella tip. Although no one was charged with the killing, many suspected the KGB and Bulgarian secret police of involvement.

— September 1976: Former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier was assassinated in Washington along with his American aide Ronni Moffitt in a car bombing by agents of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Letelier, living in exile in America, had been foreign minister for Chilean President Salvador Allende, who died in the Pinochet-led coup of 1973.

— August 1940: Exiled Soviet Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated by an icepick to the head in his home in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish Communist agent working at the behest of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

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AP researcher Jennifer Farrar contributed to this report.