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Yandex co-founder and chief technology officer in coma

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ilya Segalovich, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Russian internet group Yandex, is in a coma, suffering with complications from cancer, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.

The company earlier announced the death of Segalovich, aged 48, who had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer.

"We want to clarify an earlier statement that the company put out. We have since learnt that Ilya is in coma and on life support although not showing any brain function. Our thoughts are with him at this time," Arkady Volozh said on a conference call.

Segalovich and Volozh founded the company in 1997 and built it into the leader of the Russian internet search market, ahead of U.S. rival Google.

In 2011, Yandex raised $1.4 billion in an oversubscribed initial public offering in New York and it currently has a market value of $10 billion.

Segalovich had been responding well to treatment while working a full schedule, before unexpectedly having complications, Yandex said in the original statement.

"I know that the strong technical team that Ilya helped to build, train and motivate will continue with pride the work Ilya began," Volozh told analysts and investors on the call.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Megan Davies and Mark Potter)

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