Doomsday cult leader faces criminal charges

A criminal case for inciting religious and national hatred has been launched against the leader of the doomsday cult group, Pyotr Kuznetsov, in Russia’s Penza region.

Around thirty of his followers, including children, barricaded themselves in an underground bunker last November and are still believed to be there.

They have been waiting for the end of the world, which they said is due in May.

They claim to have enough supplies to last till then.

The group have threatened to blow themselves up if any attempt is made to remove them by force.

Earlier, there were reports that some of the cult members might have left the hideout as local residents spotted unusual movement around the cave, but no official confirmation has followed.

Meanwhile, Kuznetsov himself is being held in a psychiatric institution.

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This post was last updated: Monday, March 24, 2008 at 12:47 PM, Central European Time (CET)