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Russian arms suspect arrives in NY

Russian arms suspect arrives in NYNEW YORK: Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout arrived in New York from Thailand on Tuesday to face US terrorism charges, a US government official said.

The 43-year-old former Soviet air force officer, dubbed the “Merchant of Death,” faces US accusations of trafficking arms since the 1990s to dictators and conflict zones in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Bout had been fighting extradition since he was arrested in March 2008 in Bangkok in a US-led sting operation. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva cleared the extradition, despite Russia saying it was illegal and could undermine US-Russian ties.

Bout was flown to from Bangkok to New York on a small, chartered US aircraft, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

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