Russian Doomsday cult leader attempts suicide: Prosecutor

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Moscow, Apr 3 (UNI) The leader of the Russian Doomsday cult, Pyotr Kuznetsov, has been admitted to a hospital after he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself.

Over 30 members of the cult took shelter in November in a bunker, outside a village of Russia's Penza region in order to avoid Apocalypse.

Local prosecutors today said Kuznetsov, 43, underwent an operation in the hospital yesterday after suffering head wounds.

''This was a suicide attempt,'' a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office told RIA Novosti news agency.

''Kuznetsov inflicted cuts on himself with some kind of object,'' he said, adding the sect leader's injuries were not life-threatening, and his health is said to be ''good.'' Russian Vesti TV channel reported Kuznetsov had been beaten by his own followers.

However, the Penza Region's deputy governor, Oleg Melnichenko, said Kuznetsov had suffered a skull fracture after placing his head on a plank of wood, and repeatedly striking himself with another plank.

Kuznetsov, known to his followers as Father Pyotr, was recently involved in negotiations that resulted in 21 sect members, including four children, leaving the dugout.

Much of the group's underground shelter has collapsed due to thaw waters and heavy rain. The 11 sect members still underground were all adults.

A number of the recently-emerged sect members were staying in Kuznetsov's house in the nearby village of Nikolskoye.

The sect leader did not join his followers in the shelter, saying that he had ''another mission in life.'' He was earlier charged with inciting religious and racial hatred, but was declared mentally unfit to stand trial last week.

UNI XC PD KP1950

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