Commandos kill 2 warlords

Commandos killed two warlords linked to the May 9 terrorist blasts at Grozny's Dynamo stadium, which killed Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov and six more people, Ilya Shabalkin, a spokesman for the Regional Operations Headquarters for the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the North Caucasus (ROSh), said on Monday.

Mr. Shabalkin said the militants had also been involved in staging an act of terrorism against policemen and federal servicemen not far from the Alkhan Yurt village in Chechnya's Grozny district.

"The militants were uncovered during searches at Grozny's south-west outskirts. Law enforcers encountered a group of five militants. When offered to surrender, the militants opened fire and attempted to escape," said Mr. Shabalkin.

"Three bandits were killed in the skirmish, the other two escaped. Two federal servicemen received light injuries," added Mr. Shabalkin.

One of the killed militants was identified as 24-year-old Said-Emin Elikhanov, who led a militant group, another as Taus Udayev, 26, emir of the Wahhabi Jamaat (society) of Chechnya's Urus Martan district.

Three AK submachine guns with cartridges in their magazines, 4 hand grenades, an improvised explosive device and some 500 cartridges were found on the scene, according to Mr. Shabalkin.

Elikhanov was the last warlord who took the position of commander of what is known as "Ichkeria's Islamic Regiment," according to ROSh.

Shamil Basayev appointed Elikhanov in charge of the Jamaat when his predecessor Tazabayev was killed in February 2004. He also supervised groups dealing in Grozny and nearby villages. Elikhanov was known for his mercilessness. Separatists arrested earlier confessed that he had killed the members of his group suspected of plans to leave the group.

Elikhanov took part in the summer 2002 attack on policemen at Grozny's Central Market. In March 2003, he perpetrated the murder of policemen from Oktyabrsky interior department, while in October 2003, he set off an improvised bomb, which wounded policemen from Grozny's Zavodsky district.

Udayev was a member of the Basayev-led group who also masterminded and perpetrated terrorist acts, among them near the village of Alkhan Yurt near the Rostov-Baku road.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team