Aset Dadasheva and Fatima Taimaskhanova, convicted of organising an explosion in Pyatigorsk (Stavropol region, North Caucasus), confirmed on Tuesday that the terrorist attack had been carried out on the orders of Chechen terrorist Salman Raduyev. A RIA Novosti correspondent reports that both terrorists were taken from prison to the capital of Daghestan (republic neighbouring Chechnya) to appear as witnesses at the trial of Raduyev and his associates. The latter are accused of organising a raid on the Daghestani town of Kizlar in January 1996. According to Dadasheva, she had personally received the order to carry out the terrorist attack from Wakha Dzhafarov, the HQ head of the "army of general Dudayev." However, she did not know that Raduyev was behind this operation. She was promised a three-room flat and a financial reward for completing the mission. In her turn, Taimaskhanova testified that she knew Raduyev and had even had her photograph taken with him. He had written "with my memory of the most beautiful lady of Ichkeria" on the back of the photo. She often visited Raduyev's office and saw explosive devices on his desk. She knew that Raduyev had planned a series of "actions to frighten Russia" - explosions in towns in the North Caucasus and other Russian regions - to mark the anniversary of Dzhokhar Dudayev's death (April 21, 1997). Taimaskhanova announced that Wakha Dzhafarov had insisted that she and Dadasheva complete the attacks for Raduyev. She had personally chosen Pyatigorsk, because she had lived there for some time. She was also promised a financial reward. The case was adjourned until Wednesday following the witnesses' testimonies.
The strike was defensive in nature and came in response to three attacks on the US military in February