Russia's secret service foiled an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin in Red Square on March 2, the day of the presidential election, the Tvoi Den daily reported on Saturday.
The newspaper did not cite any sources but gave a detailed account about the arrest of a Tajik national with a sniper rifle in a raid on a rented apartment near Red Square just hours before Putin was due to give a speech there.
Contacted by AFP, the Federal Security Service (FSB) could not immediately comment on the report. Tvoi Den, a popular daily, often prints exclusive reports on Russian politics citing unnamed officials.
An informant told FSB officials a few days before the election that Putin's assassination was being planned and that an apartment had been rented on the other side of the river from the Kremlin for the purpose, Tvoi Den said.
Security officers raided the apartment at 8pm on March 2 and detained a 24-year-old Tajik national with a "whole arsenal of firearms," including a sniper rifle and a Kalashnikov assault rifle, the daily continued.
About three hours later, Putin and his ally Dmitry Medvedev, who won the March 2 election by a landslide, walked out of the Kremlin onto Red Square and gave victory speeches at a concert there to thousands of screaming fans.
FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev gave a briefing earlier this week where he said that Russian security services had foiled "terrorist attacks" during the election campaign and on election day but did not provide further details. (AFP)
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