Russian forces 'kill prominent Chechen rebel'

Russian security services today killed a prominent Chechen rebel wanted for a series of planned chemical attacks, Russian news agencies reported, citing the top spokesman for Russian forces in Chechnya.

Russian security services today killed a prominent Chechen rebel wanted for a series of planned chemical attacks, Russian news agencies reported, citing the top spokesman for Russian forces in Chechnya.

Major-General Ilya Shabalkin identified the dead rebel leader as Alash Daudov, a former police official who was also accused of complicity in the 2002 seizure of a Moscow theatre, attacks on police in Grozny and Nazran in 2004, and the seizure of more than 1,200 hostages at a school in the southern town of Beslan in September.

Shabalkin said that Daudov had been the third-ranking rebel leader, following warlord Shamil Basayev and a Jordanian named Abu Mudjaid.

The Federal Security Service earlier this month said that Daudov headed the so-called Amanat (Silence) jamaat, a group of adherents to the extremist Wahhabi branch of Islam. It said it had implicated the group in planning attacks using poisons and toxic substances to poison water supplies and crowded places in the capitals of the North Caucasus region and several large regional centres elsewhere in Russia.

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