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Chechnya
04-05-2007, 03:07 AM
If this turns out to be true this is yet another blow to the resistance. Commander Khairullah was one of the most important commanders left..

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Government forces have killed a senior Chechen rebel commander
suspected of assassinating the late President Akhmad Kadyrov three
years ago.

"As a result of a well planned operation that lasted approximately two
months, we succeeded in tracking the so-called commander ...
Khairulla," Chechen President-designate Ramzan Kadyrov said, Interfax
reported. "He has now been eliminated."

Chechen officials identified the rebel as Khairulla. Gazeta.ru said
his full name was Suleiman Imurzayev.

There was no way of independently verifying that he had been killed.

Chechen officials say Khairulla, was one of the Chechen rebels behind
a bomb attack at a sports stadium in 2004 that killed then-President
Akhmad Kadyrov, the father of Ramzan Kadyrov, 30.

"This person took responsibility for the death of my father and said
that Ramzan Kadyrov is next," Kadyrov said in a statement.

Imurzayev was one of three main rebel leaders still at large. The
other two are Doku Umarov, considered by the rebels to be the Chechen
president, and Rappani Khalilov, who specializes in terrorist attacks
in Dagestan, Gazeta.ru reported.

Kadyrov is to be inaugurated as Chechnya's president on Thursday. He
has in the past vowed to avenge his father's death.


Kadyrov's press secretary said Khairulla had been killed in a shootout
between federal soldiers and a group of 10 rebels in the Chechen
mountains. The other rebels were arrested, he said.

n Ramzan Kadyrov was to be awarded the Distinguished Defender of Human
Rights award in Grozny on Wednesday, Kommersant reported.

Alexander Sapronov, spokesman for a little-known Ukraine-based NGO
called the International Committee for the Protection of Human Rights,
told the newspaper that Kadyrov had been chosen for the award because
of his "personal contribution to the protection of human rights."

The NGO, which was registered in Kiev in 2001, claims to have 61
million members around the world.

The committee is headed by Colonel General Igor Danilov. Its honorary
president is former Ukrainian Interior Minister Ivan Gladysh,
according to the NGO's web site.

Colonel General Viktor Kazantsev, who commanded government troops
during the campaigns in Dagestan and Chechnya in 1999 and 2000, is the
group's "extraordinary and plenipotentiary envoy."

Reuters, MT
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