Truck with over 1 ton of explosives arrested near Chechen capital

A truck carrying more than a ton of explosives was found near the Chechen capital, Grozny, a spokesman for the Federal Security Service said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, chief spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus region, said that the Kamaz truck contained about 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of explosives and that it was connected with a major attack allegedly planned by Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basayev, Doku Umarov and Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, the successor to slain rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov.

It was not clear when the truck was discovered.

Security services have been on watch for major terrorist attacks around the Victory in Europe day holiday on Monday celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Nazis in Europe.

Russia's Federal Security Service said Thursday that rebel leaders had planned attacks using poisons and toxic substances in large cities in the North Caucasus region, the Interfax news agency reported.

A specially equipped cache containing a cyanide-based substance was discovered during the course of combat in an unnamed settlement, Interfax said, citing a statement from the Federal Security Service's press service.

It said that a militant group operating in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya, had been involved in the planned attacks. The leader of the group was a personal bodyguard of an "emissary" of international terrorists, Interfax said.

Associated Press

On the photo: Maj. Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, chief spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus region

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